International Telecommunication Union   ITU
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Thursday, 29 September 2011

ITU has underlined its key role in green ICT with a raft of announcements today by Study Group 5 of its Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

A meeting of the group in Seoul, Korea has seen agreement on a globally-recognized set of methodologies to assess the environmental impact of information and communications technology (ICT). It also saw agreement to produce a report on due diligence guidelines for conflict minerals supply, and to study environmental protection and recycling solutions for batteries for mobile phones and other ICT devices.

Estimates of how much ICTs can reduce global emissions – and estimates of the emissions generated by the ICT sector itself – still vary widely, due to the application of different measurement methodologies. After the problem was raised by delegates to ITU’s ‘ICTs and Climate Change’ symposium in 2008, ITU took on the challenge and has pioneered adoption of a new globally-agreed set of standards.

To ensure consistency between different approaches, the new methodology has been developed in cooperation with other standardization organizations such as ISO, IEC, ETSI and ATIS. The new methodology is also aligned with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission. 

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General, ITU: “This methodology has been developed by ITU's industry members. This will be important in ensuring it gains wide acceptance by the world's ICT industry. An internationally agreed methodology means estimates of the impact of ICTs on greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption will now have much greater credibility. It will also show just how significant a contribution ICTs can make by reducing global emissions in other sectors.”

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission: “I'm pleased that the industry is taking the task of measuring its own footprint so seriously. And I'm pleased that the ITU, as a UN agency, is doing such good work facilitating negotiations, reaching out globally to industry sub-sectors and to other standardization initiatives.”

New guidelines on conflict minerals

New ITU work on ‘conflict minerals’ will also begin in response to a request from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). ITU will make a survey of existing due diligence requirements and guidelines concerning sources of conflict minerals (in particular, those that are smelted into tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold), as well as their use in conformity with recognized international treaties and national legislation, where this exists.

Rare earth minerals are used in consumer electronics products such as mobile phones, DVD players, video games and computers. The report will provide guidance to ICT entities seeking to exercise due diligence on, and formalize the origin and chain of custody of, conflict minerals used in their products and on their suppliers to ensure that conflict minerals used in their products do not directly or indirectly finance armed conflict or result in labour or human rights violations. Agreement to address this issue demonstrates the ICT industry’s commitment to sustainability at all levels of the value chain.

Following on from the success of ITU’s Universal Charging Solution for mobile devices (Recommendation ITU-T L.1000), the meeting also agreed to study the benefits and disadvantages of the standardization of batteries for mobile terminals and other ICT devices, looking at energy efficiency over the battery life cycle, eco-design information, battery lifetime and exchangeability, safety and environmental protection, recycling and reuse. This could lead to a reduction of harmful materials used in batteries and an increased lifespan of ICT products. Battery manufacturers, device manufacturers, operators and users will all benefit, say experts. 

Ahmed Zeddam, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 5: “This has been the most productive and significant meeting in the long history of Study Group 5. Twelve new important standards have been agreed, including many critical to methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICT and the protection of home networks and next generation network (NGN) equipment from electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and environmental effects. The meeting also saw revisions to a key set of standards on resistibility to overvoltages or overcurrents of telecoms equipment. ITU is the only organization producing these important global standards.”

For more information, please contact:

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
Tel: +41 22 730 5877;
mobile: +41 79 249 4868

Sarah Parkes

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information,
Tel: +41 22 730 6135;
mobile: +41 79 599 1439

Bookmark and Share


Thursday, 29 September 2011 13:21:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 21 September 2011

ITU-T NGN-GSI Event : Co-located Meetings of Study Groups 11 and 13, Geneva, Switzerland, 10 – 21 October 2011

How to participate

Next Generation Networks Global Standards Initiative

Bookmark and Share



Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:17:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

e-meeting of  Joint Coordination Activity on ICT and climate change (JCA-ICT&CC), 28 September 2011, Seoul, Korea

Online Registration

Meeting Information

Joint Coordination Activity on ICT and climate change (JCA-ICT&CC)

Bookmark and Share


Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:13:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Council Working Group to Prepare for the 2012 WCIT (CWG-WCIT12), Fifth Meeting, 27-30 September 2011, Geneva, Switzerland

Online Registration

Council Working Group

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:09:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Seventh meeting of the FG Cloud, Seoul, South Korea, 26-30 September 2011

Online Registration

FG Cloud

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:05:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Meeting of Study Group 5, Seoul, Korea (Rep. of ) 20-28 September 2011

Online Registration

Study Group 5

Bookmark and Share


Wednesday, 21 September 2011 09:49:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 16 September 2011

A new Standards Q&A Forum will promote more interactive discussion between the experts creating ICT standards and those applying them. The pilot project has been launched to enable the submission of queries on all aspects of ITU-T Recommendations, in particular from developing countries.
Alongside the transfer of knowledge to developing nations, industry members in the developed world gain an opportunity to tap into new markets; making their products and services known to rapidly growing markets in developing nations.
The open, moderated forum will focus on the standardization work of ITU and offers participants a unique opportunity to engage with the experts that develop the standards underpinning ICT. An FAQ section introduces strangers to standardization and the ITU-T, covering all manner of questions from, “Why do we need international standards?,” to, “How does the ITU-T decide what needs standardization?” The forum is then organized into the major themes or questions being dealt with by ITU-T study groups.

Bookmark and Share


Friday, 16 September 2011 09:06:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The 2012 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award is being presented to Gisle Bjontegaard, of Tandberg Telecom (now Cisco Systems Norway); Gary Sullivan, of Microsoft Corporation; and Thomas Wiegand, of the Berlin University of Technology, "for leadership and technical contributions to the development of the globally deployed video coding standard ITU-T H.264/MPEG4-AVC." These three innovators – who are also lead experts in ITU video coding work – will receive their award at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE). Held annually in conjunction with the International Consumer Electronics Show, the conference will take place in Las Vegas, 13-16 January 2012.

Sponsored by Sony Corporation, this award recognises outstanding contributions in the field of consumer electronics technology, and is yet more recognition of the enormous success enjoyed by the H.264 codec. Already the recipient of a Primetime Emmy award, the codec continues to receive the praise and support of the ICT community.

ITU-T's Study Group 16 and ISO/IEC's Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) have formed the Joint Collaborative Team on video coding (JCT-VC) to work on the successor to H.264 (also standardized as ISO/IEC 14496-10, or MPEG-4 AVC). This successor – working title HEVC – is currently being formulated with approval expected in early 2013.

HEVC is likely to have native 3D capability, ensuring that this fast-paced industry can profit from standardized solutions. To many consumers, 3D TV is quickly becoming a very attractive, attainable product – and standards-based solutions will only add to a more vibrant set of offerings.


Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:39:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 12 September 2011

ITU is organizing a Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap for the CIS Region on 7th October in Chisinau, Moldova back to back with the ITU Cross Regional Seminar on Broadband. The workshop and is being organized by ITU in cooperation with the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications of the Republic of Moldova.

Taking part in the standardization process for new technologies will accelerate the deployment of new networks and services bringing connectivity to cities and towns as well as remote areas. With next generation broadband technologies for example, standards work is lowering the capital cost of deployment in the network core. The main objective of this workshop is to examine key standardization activities on emerging technologies and actions that countries can take to bridge the standardization gap. Participation in standardization activities offers the opportunity for developing countries to jump several generations of technology. ITU will take into account the needs of these countries in producing its standards, and will seek to provide assistance in implementing them.


Bookmark and Share


Monday, 12 September 2011 13:45:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The first ITU Green Standards Week closed Friday with a call on international bodies, NGOs, standards bodies, governments, regulators, industry and academia to collaborate more closely on the application and development of information and communication technologies (ICT) standards to help combat climate change. Particular emphasis was placed on a globalized methodology to assess the environmental impact of ICTs, reducing e-waste, and the use of submarine cables for climate monitoring and disaster warning.

ITU has been working with industry and government members aiming to achieve agreement on an internationally recognized set of methodologies to be approved by the end of the year. Included is a methodology which ICT companies can use to measure their own carbon footprint, as well as a way to estimate the considerable savings in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy that can be achieved in other sectors through the use of ICTs.

Full press release

Bookmark and Share

Monday, 12 September 2011 10:27:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |