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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Question 17/5

Question 17/5 – Energy Efficiency for the ICT sector and harmonization of environmental standards
(Continuation of Question 17/5)


Support energy efficiency enhancements, accurate measurement methods and metrics and KPIs, the management of energy sources and loads, are the key motivators for this Question.

The major focus is on energy efficiency metrics, KPIs, measurement methods; the scope also includes best practices and reference values for the ICT sector to support assessments of environmental impact. Further it includes studies and analysis on most energy efficient architectures and solutions related to the use of ICT in the context of smart grids.

These issues are related to a wide range of technology areas and as many standardization bodies and fora are working on them, jointly activity, harmonization and integration of existing relevant standards should be sought.

Moreover, due to the improvement of ICTs, new requirements and/or applications are created imposing to continuously adapt the coverage of the recommendations made by SG5 and identify missing topics in standards.

To meet the urgent need for continued standardization of ICT and energy efficiency the following related items are to be handled:

  • Identification of the related Recommendations to fill further gaps in standards with new work in SG5, encourage the development of existing Recommendations which promotes energy efficiency enhancements in ICT sector;
  • Clarification of the relationships between the work done by other SGs and other standardization bodies and/or fora to collaborate effectively with the intention to maximize synergy and avoid duplication of work, and also establishment of joint activities with other standardization bodies on common interesting subjects;
  • To produce Recommendations, guidelines documents or handbooks on subjects identified by SG5 as critical (such as Green Data Centres and Metrics);
  • The focus is on establishment and maintenance of metrics/KPI related measurement methods and reference values for different type of technologies which define a baseline level for studies assessing environmental impact of ICT;
  • Sharing of best practices for ICT’s energy efficiency enhancements.

The following Recommendation, in force at the time of approval of this Question, falls under its responsibility:

  • L.1300, L.1310


Study items to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Which are the study areas and related Recommendations dealing with energy efficiency and environmental impact to be handled by ITU-T SG5 in the different questions?
  • What energy efficiency topics for ICT can be recommended to other SGs?
  • What has been accomplished by other standardization bodies and/or fora related to energy efficiency and how can those results be complemented or improved in SG5?
  • Which joint activities are needed with other SDOs?
  • Which existing standards particularly pertaining to the field of energy efficiency have to be complemented and/or harmonized by SG5?
  • Which metrics/KPI, related measurement methods and reference values should be developed for the ICT sector?
  • Which best practices for energy consumption/efficiency should be developed for the ICT sector (e.g., network, data centre infrastructures)?
  • Which is the most efficient architecture and solutions related to the use of ICT in the context of smart grid?
  • Which is the reduction of power losses when applying ICT based smart grid technology?


Tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop and maintain an overview of ICT environmental related Recommendations in SG5, e.g. Guide or Framework Recommendation;
  • Provide and maintain an overview of key mitigation technologies such as teleconferencing, teleworking, e-learning, smart grid;
  • Develop Recommendations and or joint activities on ICT and environmental issues in coordination with other standardization bodies and/or fora, to complement and harmonize ICT and environmental standards, particularly in the field of energy efficiency, including energy efficiency measurement methods energy efficiency metrics and reference values;
  • Develop best practices, best reference cases (e.g. related to smart management of energy sources and load as well as to solutions to reduce the impact for ICT sectors, Data Centre and ICT infrastructures);
  • Coordinate with other SGs and other bodies on a regular basis to ensure closest alignment.
An up-to-date status of work under this Question is contained in the SG 5 work programme (use URL as shown in the table below).



  • None


  • 13, 14, 15, 16, 18 and 19/5

Study Groups:

  • ITU-T SGs 9, 13, 15 and 16 or other relevant SGs
  • ITU-D SGs
  • ITU-R SGs

Standardization bodies, forums and consortia: