External Sustainability Study on Environmental impact of electronic communications

Document number: BoR (22) 34

Document date: 10-03-2022

Date of registration: 15-03-2022

Document type:
Author: WIK-Consult and Ramboll

This study aims to provide an overview of the scale and trends in the GHG emissions stemming from electronic communications, the sources of these emissions and possible measurement methodologies. The main focus is on GHG emissions as this is the field where the most data and knowledge is available, but impacts on natural resources are also discussed. It also discusses initiatives that have been taken by electronic communication operators (ECN operators) and National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) to measure and/or limit emissions and other environmental impacts linked to electronic communications. It concludes with an analysis of the potential role that NRAs could play in supporting sustainability goals, along with the limitations that NRAs may face in this context and trade-offs which may arise when sustainability goals are juxtaposed with other objectives and commitments which NRAs must meet in the context of EU and national legislation applying to electronic communications.