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The contribution of the ICT Sector to reducing GHG emissions

05/17/2016 - 00:00 PM

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The ICT sector is required to play an important part in the fight against climate change by promoting the replacement of physical products and traditional services with digital products and processes that can promote the virtualization of the company by reducing the need for people and goods to travel. In general:

  • audio/video conferencing services and teleworking reduce the need for people to travel.
  • on line invoicing and payments, in addition to saving paper and therefore the energy required to produce and transport it, eliminate the need for transport to make payments;
  • telemedicine services reduce the need for doctors to meet patients in person;
  • infomobility systems, using information obtained from mobile handsets, allow the optimisation of traffic flows, reducing travel times and the emission of greenhouse gases;
  • systems for the monitoring and analysis of consumption allow the optimisation of the energy efficiency of offices and dwellings.

ICTs can influence the price, efficiency and relative convenience of products and services, eventually affecting the demand for services and increasing the overall demand for energy. They can also accelerate the obsolescence of products and require the resulting technological waste to be managed. It is the responsibility of the ICT sector, and therefore also of Telecom Italia, to consider these effects, focusing on research and development to create products with a low environmental impact throughout their entire life cycle,

In 2015, Telecom Italia handled centrally around 821 audio conferences and 5,778 video conferences between its offices in Rome and Milan. Using the specific automatic booking portal for audio and video conferencing services, employees independently held 44,425 video conferences (+30% compared to 2014) and 94,918 audio conferences (+16% compared to 2014). The use of these communication systems is estimated to have allowed a significant amount of carbon dioxide (and other pollutants) associated with the use of means of transport to be avoided.