Sustainability and the digital economy have a complex relationship. As the effects of climate change become more apparent, the need for the thriving ICT sector to address its own substantial carbon footprint has become ever more urgent. Yet, new technologies – and applications or solutions based on established technology – are also an essential part of the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster low-carbon, climate-resilient sustainable growth and adapt to climate change.
SMEs and large companies from around the world are showing how that can be done on the ITU Telecom World 2019 showfloor. Closing the Loop, for example, is a Dutch SME focused on proper, safe and corruption-free electronic waste management in emerging markets, working to enable sustainable consumption through circularity. This means collecting scrap mobile phones through informal African collection networks – and recycling the materials. It’s like reducing a carbon footprint, for phones. Visitors to the Closing the Loop stand were able to dismantle an old phone, explore the parts and understand the process hands-on. It’s affordable, easy and effective – and offers end-users and operators a real opportunity to deliver both sustainable and commercial benefit.
Eco- and environmental conservation is the priority of Immersion4’s DTM technology from Switzerland. Servers are dipped into the liquid Ice Coolant, transforming the digital heat of the data centre into a reusable energy source. Once again, it’s a win-win solution, promising both reduced environmental impact and economic efficiency.
This balancing act is one Ericsson is familiar with, as it works to meet current and future traffic demands whilst addressing energy and climate challenges. Innovative products and solutions aim to drive energy performance standards, and optimize services for energy consumption, in particular as the networks of the world move towards 5G.
South African Kusini Water is using an IoT platform to collect, treat and distribute safe drinking water. Its mobile solar-powered water purification systems are made from macadamia nut shells and nano-fibres. Meanwhile, back in Europe, Platio, a Hungarian SME, uses recycled plastic materials to create a range of solar pavement-based, green energy installation solutions which can be installed anywhere from offices and residential buildings to maritime infrastructures and smart cities.
And it’s not just on the showfloor, supporting sustainable development is central to ITU Telecom World’s aim, with sessions in the Forum later this week will look at Exploring strategies to boost climate action in the ICT sector and Frontier technologies for climate change.
Greener transport options, for example, including a bicycle rental station outside the registration hall, shuttle buses and the use of as many e-taxis as possible. ITU Telecom World has moved steadily towards becoming a truly paper-less event – instead of printed programmes, brochures or floorplans, all practical information is available on the website or in the event app.
From the recycled palettes used in the construction of the Agora space, where you can sit, relax and learn during the Hungarian Pavilion programme, to the use of potted plants instead of cut flowers in the LeaderSpace, recycling bins around the venue, water bottles on sale at the ITU Bookshop and sustainably-produced team T-shirts, the hope is that every small step will prove significant. The future of tech at ITU Telecom World 2019 is focused on three key principles: green, circulatory and sustainable. It’s the future of the world, too.
Find out more here https://telecomworld.itu.int/greening-itu-telecom-world/ – and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any sustainability related inputs!