The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has made the tantalising announcement that it has reached agreement on a globally-recognised set of methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICT.
The announcement came last Thursday at a meeting of the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) in Seoul, Korea. The press release seemed to suggest that further details would be announced that day, but as yet there’s nothing on the ITU-T web site.
The organisation has been working on a new set of standards for some time. Various other bodies have been involved and the new methodology is apparently aligned with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission
In addition, the ITU standardisation group has agreed to produce reports on due diligence guidelines for conflict minerals supply (the proceeds of which are used to fund violence and conflict) and on environmental protection and recycling solutions for mobile device batteries.
The ITU has been working with industry and government members to try and get agreement on an internationally recognised set of methodologies to be approved by the end of the year. The aim was to include both a methodology for ICT companies to measure their own carbon footprint and also a way to estimate the emissions savings that can be achieved in other sectors through the use of ICT.
Let’s hope the new methodologies, coming from such an influential body, don’t just muddy the waters, given the number of definitions and methodologies already being used or in discussion. I let you know when I hear more.