Common Environmental Impact Assessment Standard for ICT Industry

ETSI Headquarters, Sophia Antipolis, France – 21 November 2011

ETSI's TC EE develops a standardized method for the cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment of the environmental impact of ICT equipment and services, providing an industry-agreed method to evaluate green-house gas emissions.

Protecting the environment is a global concern, and one which involves whole industries, as well as individuals. Reducing energy consumption is important, but the processes of manufacture, transport and end of life disposal can also have a significant environmental impact which is easily ignored.

ETSI has now published a new standard which will help manufacturers and operators of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment, networks and services to determine the complete environmental impact of a product, by specifying a common life cycle assessment method.

Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an analytical method assessing the environmental impact of a product over its whole life. LCA has a cradle-to-grave scope where material extraction, manufacturing, transport, usage and scrapping processes are included.

ISO has standardized an LCA methodology in the ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards. The European Commission has also recently published a handbook providing detailed guidance on the steps required to conduct a life cycle assessment, in its International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) handbook. This new ETSI standard, TS 103 199, was developed by industry in ETSI's Technical Committee for Environmental Engineering (TC EE) and applies these ISO standards and the European Commission handbook to ICT by introducing specific measures.

The new standard, aimed at the whole ICT supply chain, will be used to assess the environmental impact of any ICT product or service; to evaluate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impact categories as well as to estimate total energy usage. It provides a harmonized assessment and reporting method which will increase the quality of life cycle assessments, facilitate their comparison, and improve their credibility. The standard also forms part of the industry response to the call for reduced ICT green-house gas emissions in the European Commission's Digital Agenda for Europe.

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Notes for Editors

About ETSI
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, aeronautical, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit association whose more than 700 member companies and organizations, drawn from 62 countries across 5 continents worldwide, determine its work programme and participate directly in its work. 
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