Technology has the potential to improve the way we live and work, but it can also carry risks to the environment. The ICT industry and its customers have a responsibility to minimize the adverse impact of ICT.

One way we can reduce the impact on climate change – and at the same time reduce operational costs – is by improving the energy efficiency of ICT products and services. Standards can help achieve this goal. ETSI works on these matters also answering to EC standardization requests continuing to develop the standards needed to support the EC’s energy efficiency targets.

Our Role & Activities

Our current work on the environmental aspects of ICT equipment includes energy efficiency.

Environmental Engineering committee (TC EE)

TC EE develops standards for reducing the eco-environmental impact of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) equipment. This includes:

  • the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ICT goods, networks and services
  • methods to assess the energy efficiency of wireless access networks and equipment, core networks and wireline access equipment including Efficiency metrics/KPI definition for equipment and network
  • network standby mode for household and office equipment
  • Circular economy standard for ICT solutions
  • Power feeding solutions based on higher DC voltage to reduce losses on the distribution cabling and innovative efficient storage solution

ETSI technical committee Environmental Engineering (EE) is responsible for defining the environmental and infrastructural aspects for all telecommunication equipment and its environment, including equipment installed in subscriber premises. Where ever possible this will be achieved by referencing existing international standards.

Environmental aspects considered include: 

  • climatic and biological conditions
  • chemically and mechanically active substances
  • mechanical conditions during storage, transportation and operation
  • power supply issues including power distribution, earthing and bonding techniques
  • thermal management for equipment and facilities
  • noise emission of equipment.
  • mechanical structure and physical design

TC EE and ITU-T SG5 are working together to develop technically aligned standards on energy efficiency, power feeding solution, circular economy and network efficiency KPI and eco-design requirement for ICT, with the aim to build an international eco-environmental standardization.

Access, Terminals, Transmission and Multiplexing committee (TC ATTM)

TC ATTM focuses on the ‘green’ needs of operational networks and sites and broadband transmission including:

  • developing global Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to provide users of ICT with the tools to monitor their eco-efficiency and energy management
  • defining the networks connecting digital multi-services in cities, producing KPIs for monitoring the sustainability of broadband solutions
  • improving our standards for transmission equipment to support the European Commission’s Ecodesign of Energy Related Products Directive
  • supporting efficient ICT waste management (maintenance period and end of life)

Energy efficiency is now a key focus of TC ATTM which is defining the general landscape of work required to address the energy consumption of all telecommunications equipment and systems. TC ATTM and CENELEC are working together on broadband implementation in Europe. Energy costs continue to rise, while broadband penetration is introducing new equipment to the network architecture. Energy consumption is therefore a major consideration affecting widespread broadband deployment.

Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Operational energy Efficiency for Users (OEU)

ISG OEU is working to minimize the power consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of infrastructure, utilities, equipment and software within ICT sites and networks. This includes:

  • the measurement of energy consumption by IT servers, storage units, broadband fixed access and mobile access, with a view to developing global KPIs
  • the management of the end of life of ICT equipment
  • the definition of global KPI modelling for green smart cities
  • the description of operational tools to support and develop efficient sustainable services of smart communities


A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the EE, ATTM and OEU committee pages.