BEREC’s commitment to sustainability underlined in Twin Transition Statement by EU Member States

13 July 2022

On 30 June 2022, 18 EU Member States signed a call for a Green and Digital Transition in the EU following the Digital Assembly 2022, expected to be joined by additional signatories. BEREC welcomes the call that echoes main conclusions from its first report on environmental sustainability of the digital sector, published in June 2022. In coherence with this call, BEREC will keep mobilising its expertise to contribute improving transparency, measurement and mitigation of ICTs’ environmental footprint. 

BEREC Chair 2022 Annemarie Sipkes: “Now is the time to leverage on the momentum to accelerate the green and digital transition. BEREC works on a consistent measuring methodology on sustainable connectivity to address the lack of comparable data. Consistent high quality indicators are vital to ensure that public authorities, regulators, market players, investors and end-users take informed decisions”. 

BEREC sees digitization as a critical driver to achieve the European Green Deal objectives. At the same time, it’s important to measure and limit the adverse environmental impacts of all the components of the digital ecosystem through their full lifecycle. 

In its report, BEREC considers the environmental footprint of digital equipment as particularly significant representing between 60% to 80% of ICTs’ environmental footprint. Thus, BEREC emphasizes the need to adopt a holistic approach and to promote accountability of all digital players across the value chains including telecom players, data centres, content and application providers and of course, devices manufacturers and vendors. 

Methodologies to improve transparency 

There is a strong call for developing common methodologies, standards and reliable data to evaluate the environmental impact of the digital sector. Increased transparency on the environmental footprint of digital infrastructures, including for telecommunications, is indeed one of the key ICT-related challenges identified in the Green Deal. In response to this, BEREC this year will work on sustainability indicators for telecommunications and with relevant stakeholders to participate in collective efforts to increase consensual development of standards and evaluation methods on the environmental footprint of the digital sector.  

End-users empowerment 

BEREC identifies end-users’ empowerment as a relevant lever and proxy to enable the green transition of the digital sector. That is why BEREC welcomes Members States’ call to develop more sustainable digital products through eco-design and energy efficiency performance as well as the need to fight software and hardware obsolescence to increase their lifespan. BEREC underlines the relevance of information to the end-users on key environmental aspects of their digital consumption as a means to create data-driven incentives in digital markets from industrial players.