(Continuation of Q19/15: Environmental protection and safety aspects of outside
SG5 is responsible for studying ICT environmental aspects on electromagnetic
phenomena and climate change. In addition, SG5 has been appointed as a lead
Study Group to progress the work on ICT and Climate Change.
With the introduction of concepts of environmental sustainability, and standards
such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 in telecommunications segments, safety and
environmental aspects have become of great importance.
As a result of climate change, the interest on environmental issues is growing
in areas including life cycle analysis of products and processes,
environmentally friendly materials and waste disposal.
Environmental sustainability can be defined as the ability to maintain the
qualities that are valued in the physical environment taking care of the aspects
of the environment that produce renewable resources.
ICT is increasingly expected to play a key role in tackling global environmental
issues such as minimizing the burden on the environment and helping prevent the
depletion of resources. Recycling of ICT equipments and facilities has a major
impact on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since considerable amounts of
rare metals can be obtained from them without mining the rare metals in
Products used in outside plant are typically manufactured using thermoplastic
materials, lead, copper, wood, concrete, iron and preservative substances or
antioxidants are added in order to ensure the long term performances of
products. The replacement and final disposal of these materials is a goal for
all environmentally correct countries. Moreover, new classes of materials that
minimize environmental impact have to be studied, also taking into account that
huge quantities will be deployed as Developing Countries extend their networks.
On the other hand, not only materials and equipment, but also the related
installation and operation processes can affect the environment. Therefore the
mitigation of these sources of environmental damage must also be studied.
It is important to develop environmental requirements for equipments and
facilities such as mobile phones and routers in order to reduce impact on the
environment. It is also important to study safe, low-cost social recirculation
of ICT equipments through recycling and reuse.
Study items to be considered include, but are not limited to:
- How to ensure the safety and environmental procedures/products used in ICT
equipments/facilities, avoidance of hazardous materials and final disposal?
- How to ensure that the products and procedures used in ICT
equipments/facilities cause minimum environmental effect?
- What are the procedures to analyse the effect on the environment of existing
and new products under development and how can we minimize them?
- An up-to-date status of technologies for recycling and directives worldwide.
- How to mitigate e-waste and to reduce potential GHG emissions that will be
made without recycling?
Tasks include, but are not limited to:
- Motivate ITU members to share their national experiences and spread the
collected knowledge related to environmental and sustainability aspects of laws
- Determine process to analyse the effect on the environment of products
(materials, hazardous materials avoidance, manufacturing processes, operational
procedures and disposal) and ways to minimize them.
- Search for new technologies of compounds / materials and operational process
to use; the study group must identify the market needs and provide timely
- Assess environmental effects of recycling related to ICT facilities,
- Analyze safe, low-cost social recirculation of ICT equipments through
recycling and reuse.
- Prepare a questionnaire about environmental sustainability practices and
regulations in outside plant (2010) and ICT equipments/ facilities (2012).
- Prepare a handbook of environmental sustainability in outside plant (2012) and
ICT equipment/facilities (2012).
- Prepare a new recommendation L.lca (The use of life cycle analysis in outside
- Revision of Recommendation L.45 (2010)
- Prepare a new recommendation L.recy (Recycling of copper and optical fibre
cables) to have it up to date, regarding its usefulness (2011).
- Maintain and modify Recommendations L.2 (2009), L.24 (2009) and L.63 (2010).
- Study the solution to mitigate e-waste. For instance, the universal charging
solution for the mobile phone and related telecommunications terminals, consider
to prepare a new recommendation L.adapter (Universal power adapter solution for
the mobile phone). (2009-2010).
- – 14/5, 18/5, Q5/15, Q6/15, Q7/15, Q8/15, Q16/15, Q17/15, Q18/15
- – ITU-T SG9, SG15 and SG16
Standardisation bodies, forums and consortia: