State of Green Business

Ericsson and WWF Sweden Want ICT to Be 'Carbon-Positive'

Ericsson and WWF Sweden Want ICT to Be 'Carbon-Positive'

Telecom giant Ericsson and World Wildlife Fund Sweden want to encourage the information and communication technology (ICT) sector to become “climate-positive” and help other sectors reduce their emissions.

Climate-positive means a company’s products help avoid more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than the amount produced by the company internally. Research suggests the ICT industry generates about 2 percent of global GHGs, but its products have the potential to reduce emissions in other sectors by more than 15 percent.

The partnership's three general areas of focus include the development of methodology for calculating the carbon dioxide savings from avoiding emissions; integrating low-carbon telecom technologies into municipal climate strategies; and creating a support platform for other partnerships that foster the transition to a low carbon economy.

The partners also will use their collective muscle to get ICT onto the global policy agenda in time for the international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December.

In a statement announcing the partnership, Ericsson and WWF pointed to several ways in which ICT can lessen greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the introduction of telemedicine -- where medical information is exchanged from one site to another via electronic communication, according to the American Telemedicine Association -- can halve travel for hospital consultations.

Ericsson and WWF say broadband-enabled services emitting 1 kg of greenhouse gas emissions have the potential to generate emissions reductions of 10 kg to 100 kg.

“Together with Ericsson, we can approach the need for reduced emissions as an opportunity, and the urgency for rapid reductions as a driver for innovation and profit,” Dennis Pamlin, WWF Sweden’s global policy advisor, said in a statement. “This is especially important in this economic crisis when significant resources are being allocated into infrastructure investments.”

Image CC licensed by Flickr user jepoirrier.