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New ITU ‘Sustainability Toolkit’ for the ICT sector

Green standards highlighted as tools to achieve greener corporations

Geneva, 21 September 2012 – ITU has published a new guide to aid the shift towards a more sustainable ICT industry. The “Toolkit on Environmental Sustainability for the ICT Sector” provides detailed help on building sustainability into the management and operations of ICT companies through the application of international standards and best practices.

The toolkit provides a standardized method to report on sustainability performance, which is increasingly required by customers, investors, governments and other stakeholders. It will also enable companies to manage and improve their own sustainability performance.

The toolkit was produced in partnership with over 50 ICT companies, UN agencies, environmental organizations, and research institutes. It was launched during ITU Green Standards Week in Paris, 17-21 September, an event advocating the creation and application of ‘green ICT’ standards for boosting environmental efficiency across all industry sectors.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “International standards are globally agreed best practices or benchmarks in development. Standards will however only deliver promised benefits if implemented effectively, and this Toolkit is an essential companion to the environmental sustainability standards developed by ITU-T, ITU’s Standardization Sector.”

The toolkit provides a set of sustainability requirements for ICT companies to allow more objective reporting in the following areas:

  1. Sustainable ICT in corporate organizations, looking primarily at four ICT areas: data centres, desktop infrastructure, broadcasting services and telecommunications networks.
  2. Sustainable products, through the use of environmentally conscious design, development and manufacturing principles, from a product’s birth to its end-of-life treatment.
  3. Sustainable buildings, focusing on minimizing the footprint of buildings through the integration of sustainability considerations within the design, construction, use and de-commissioning phases; considering that ICT companies operate facilities demanding large volumes of energy at all life-cycle stages.
  4. End-of-life management, covering the various end-of-life stages and their accompanying legislation, and providing companies with guidance on the environmentally-conscious management of end-of-life ICT equipment.
  5. General specifications and key performance indicators (KPIs), matching environmental KPIs to an organization’s strategic targets, and exploring the development of standardized processes to ensure KPI data is presented in a form most useful to management.
  6. Assessment framework for environmental impacts, explores how various standards and guidelines can form part of sustainability frameworks tailored to each organization’s objectives and desired sustainability performance.

The Toolkit will also be a useful guide for experts working within ITU-T Study Group 5, the ITU group charged with the development of global standards in this arena. It is available for download here.

For more information, please contact

Toby Johnson

Senior Communications Officer

tel +41 22 730 5877
tel +41 79 249 4868
tel toby.johnson@itu.int   


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