A Methodology for Assessing the Environmental Effects Induced by ICT Services. Part II: Multiple Services and Companies

06/18/2020
by   Pernilla Bergmark, et al.
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Information and communication technologies (ICT) can make existing products and activities more efficient or substitute them altogether and could thus become crucial for the mitigation of climate change. In this context, individual ICT companies, industry organizations and international initiatives have started to estimate the environmental effects of ICT services. Often such assessments rely on crude assumptions and methods, yielding inaccurate or even misleading results. The few existing methodological attempts are too general to provide guidance to practitioners. The starting points of this paper are i) a high level standard from the European Telecommunication Standardisation Institute (ETSI) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and ii) its suggested enhancements for single service assessment outlined in "A Methodology for Assessing the Environmental Effects Induced by ICT Services Part I: Single services" (Part I in short). Building on the assessment of single services, the current article identifies and addresses shortcomings of existing methodologies and industry practices with regard to multiple services assessment. For a collection of services, it addresses the goal and scope definition, the so far ignored aggregation of effects among several services, and the allocation between several companies contributing to one or more services. The article finally brings these considerations together with those of Part I into a workflow for performing such assessments in practice.

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