Telecoms industry can help to reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions

12 May 2011

New telecoms technologies behind services such as e-billing and video conferencing could help reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions significantly, a mobile industry event heard today.

Communications technology accounts for about 2pc of global carbon emissions, a figure that is predicted to double by 2020, as demand for broadband services grows.

However, innovative solutions hold the key to curbing these emissions and reducing the environmental impact, Tommy McCabe, director of The Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF), said at the event, ‘Green agenda and the mobile sector’.

“A key initiative by the mobile sector was switching customers to using e-billing. The total paper consumption from the major telecom operators is almost 1,200 tonnes annually.  

“This equates to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of over 3,300 tonnes and more than 3,700 tonnes of wood use, which is equivalent to over 26,000 trees. Besides saving on cost, electronic billing provides an opportunity for companies to do their part in reducing the use of paper and, therefore, its harmful effects on the environment.”

Also speaking at the event, Vodafone Ireland CEO Jeroen Hoencamp said: “If 40pc of employees used technology to work from outside the office, Ireland could reduce annual CO2 emissions by 110 kilotonnes, the equivalent to taking 42,000 cars off the Irish roads.

McCabe said the telecoms industry was creating solutions that are not designed solely to make networks more energy efficient, but also impact on their application to numerous other sectors.

“It holds the potential to reduce the remaining 98pc of global carbon emissions by 15pc according to the Global e-Sustainability Initiative’s (GeSI) – Smart 2020: Enabling the Low Carbon Economy in the Information Age.”

The Business & Leadership Green Economy Briefing, beginning at 8am on Tuesday, 31 May 2011, is taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin. Visit the event’s website or contact Niamh Carwood for more information.