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Toolkit on Environmental Sustainability for the ICT Sector (ESS)

Companies in the ICT sector are increasingly being asked by customers, investors, governments and other stakeholders to report on sustainability performance. However, there is noagreed standardized method to simplify and streamline this kind of reporting. Beyond reporting, companies that do not measure their environmental performance find it very difficult to manage and improve that performance.

The Toolkit on Environmental Sustainability for the ICT sector is an ITU-T initiative which provides plenty of detailed support on how ICT companies can build sustainability into the operations and management of their organizations, through the practical application of international standards and guidelines.

This toolkit provides a set of agreed upon sustainability requirements for ICT companies that allows for a more objective reporting of how sustainability is practiced in the ICT sector in these key areas: sustainable buildings, sustainable ICT in corporate organizations, sustainable products, end of life management, general specifications and KPIs, and an assessment framework for environmental impacts of the ICT sector.

The project focuses on development of guiding principles including a standardized checklist of sustainability requirements specific to the ICT sector that will become a contribution to ITU-T Study Group 5 with the goal of developing a global standard in this area.

ITU-T Activities on ICT and Climate Change

Press release, 21 September 2012

(September 2012)
Download report here.
Download executive summary here.
Download presentation here.

Introduction and Executive Summary


Sustainable ICT in Corporate Organizations (September 2012)
This document focuses on the main sustainability issues companies face in using ICT products and services in their own organizations across four main ICT areas: data centers, desktop infrastructure, telecommunications networks and broadcasting services.

Download report here.
Download presentation here.

Sustainable Products (September 2012)
This document provides technical guidance on environmentally conscious design principles and best practices, covering development and manufacture, through to end-of-life treatment.

Download report here.
Download presentation here.

Sustainable Buildings (September 2012)
This document provides technical guidance on environmentally conscious design, maintenance, repair and operating principles and best practices from construction through to lifetime use and de-commissioning.

Download report here.
Download presentation here.

End of Life Management for ICT Equipment (September 2012)
This document covers the various End-of-Life (EOL) stages, and their accompanying legislation. It also provides support in creating a framework for environmentally-sound management of EOL ICT equipment.

Download report here.
Download presentations here.

General Specifications and KPIs (September 2012)
This document focuses on matching environmental KPIs to an organization’s specific business strategy targets, as well as the construction of standardized process to make sure the KPI data is as useful as possible to management.

Download report here.
Download presentation here.

Assessment Framework for Environmental Impacts of the ICT Sector (September 2012)
This document explores how the various standards and guidelines can be mapped so that an organization can create a sustainability framework that is relevant to its own business objectives and desired sustainability performance.

Download report here.
Download presentation here.
The ESS toolkit draws together contributions from over 50 ICT companies and universities around the world who have partnered in this effort. The partners are listed in alphabetical order:
  • 3p Institute for Sustainable Management
  • Alcatel Lucent
  • BBC
  • BIO Intelligence Service
  • BT
  • Climate Associates
  • ClimateCHECK
  • Cogeco Cable
  • DATEC Technologies
  • Dell
  • Ernst & Young
  • ETRI
  • ETNO
  • ETSI
  • European Broadcasting Union
  • France Telecom/Orange
  • Fronesys
  • Fujitsu
  • GHG Management Institute (GHGMI)
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Hitachi
  • Huawei
  • IBI Group
  • Imperial College
  • Infosys
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • Mandat International
  • MicroPro Computers
  • Microsoft
  • MJRD Assessment Inc.
  • National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications
  • Nokia Siemens Networks
  • NEC
  • NTT
  • Panasonic
  • Research In Motion
  • Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa
  • Step Initiative
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telecommunications Networks and Telematics Laboratory
  • Telecommunication Technology Committee
  • Telefónica
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Toshiba
  • United Nations Environmental Programme
  • United Nations Environmental Programme/Secretariat of the Basel Convention
  • United Nations University
  • University of Genova
  • University of Zagreb
  • Verizon
  • Vodafone Ghana



This webpage provides references to external resources on ICTs and the environment including information on climate change, conflict minerals, e-waste and other sustainability issues [ more… ]

Please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Cristina Bueti at for additional information.




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Updated : 2012-11-19