The GreenIT.fr blog has reported on what it describes as the first professional conference on the topic of Green IT and sustainable ICT in France a couple of weeks ago. Comments on the discussions and presentations included the following:
• There seems to be quite a difference between the levels of understanding of the problem between telecoms companies in France, with Orange, Vodafone and Ericsson much more aware than others (Deutsche Telekom and Bouygues Telecom were mentioned).
• Telecom players are mostly interested in energy savings whilst phones are in use, which directly impacts running costs. Ericsson France has apparently estimated that the carbon footprint of a subscriber to a mobile service is 48 kg of CO2 per year for GSM and 28 kg of CO2 per year for 3G, but much depends on how the electricity is generated. Consequently there is a lot of interest in base stations powered by solar energy.
• According to Pierre Etienne Roinat, President of MonExTel, between three and eight percent of the 20 million mobile phones replaced each year in France are recycled.
• IDATE has carried out a green ICT research project commissioned by the French Federation of Telecoms, ICT Alliance and the Federation of Electrical, Electronics and Communication (FIEEC), due to be published in January. One conclusion is that the power consumption of ICT has increased 19% in three years, from 6.2% of French electricity bills in 2005 to 7.3% in 2008. However, other reports have put the figure at 13.5% and 15%.
• This increase in energy use is directly related to the ICT equipment used in households (Internet boxes, PCs, phones, etc.), with associated energy use rising 40% between 2005 and 2008. Efforts to reduce energy consumption do not offset this increased usage.
• Marc Fossier, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer France Telecom pointed out that 35% of Orange’s carbon footprint is in Poland, so the carbon footprint is largely related to the primary source of production of electricity.
• But according to IDATE, ICT could help achieve a third of the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions the French government is planning to achieve by 2020. Smart grids were seen as a major method of achieving the reductions.