The Energy and Carbon Footprint of the Global ICT and E&M Sectors 2010–2015

Reference Type:

Journal Article

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Published In:

Sustainability

Year:

2018

Author(s):

Jens Malmodin
Dag Lundén

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This article presents estimations of the energy and carbon footprint of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Entertainment & Media (E&M) sectors globally for 2010-2015 including a forecast to 2020. It builds on three previous global studies (2007, 2011, and 2018) and a Swedish study (2015) by the same authors. The study is based on an extensive dataset which combines primary and secondary data for operational (use stage) energy consumption and life cycle greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) for the included sub-sectors, including energy and carbon footprint data from about 100 of the major global manufacturers, operators, and ICT and E&M service providers. The data set also includes sales statistics and forecasts for equipment to estimate product volumes in addition to published LCA studies and primary manufacturing data to estimate the embodied carbon footprint of products. The result shows that the ICT and E&M sectors have turned their previously growing footprints into shrinking ones despite a continuous increase in subscriptions and data traffic. Furthermore, the results of this study are also indicating that these footprints are significantly smaller than previously forecasted.