Publication / 14 Oct 2014

Hardwiring Sustainability into the Information and Communications Technology Sector

Trucost’s sector briefing note looks at how companies in the ICT sector can manage sustainability challenges and provide solutions to environmental and social challenges.

The information and communications technology (ICT) sector faces a variety of sustainability challenges but can also offer many solutions to a range of environmental and social problems.

This whitepaper looks at some of the opportunities for ICT companies to reduce their impacts while maximizing their contribution to sustainability. These range from supply chain footprinting to using natural capital valuation to put a monetary value on positive environmental benefits and negative impacts so they can be more effectively measured, managed and reported.

Around 80% of the environmental impacts of large ICT companies are found in their supply chains rather than their direct operations. The main impacts are greenhouse gas emissions from electricity used to power communications networks and manufacturer hardware. Water, air pollution and waste from manufacturing hardware are other another areas of concern.These impacts are starting to have consequences for ICT companies in the form of volatile energy and raw material prices and a greater risk of supply chain disruption. Tougher environmental regulation through carbon taxes or water abstraction charges could increase costs in the ICT sector.

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