Greening digital companies: Monitoring emissions and climate commitments
22 Jun 2022
Author: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA)
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) published the report entitled ‘Greening digital companies: Monitoring emissions and climate commitments’ on 22 June 2022. It presents data on emissions, energy use and decarbonisation practices from 150 of the world’s leading tech companies, which are grouped into three digital sector industries: hardware, telecommunications, and IT services.
Findings revealed that location-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the companies that were looked at corresponded to 0.7 percent of the world’s total in 2020. When it comes to electricity consumption, the group of companies assessed accounted for 1.6 percent of global use.
Yet, 75 percent of all operational emissions are generated by twenty companies, of which nine are based in East Asia, largely because of their delay in adopting low-carbon strategies. On the other hand, it was identified that companies, mainly from the ICT sector, are taking important steps to warm up the renewable energy market. According to the report, thirteen companies surveyed purchased all their electricity from renewable sources in 2020.
The report also highlights the challenges companies face in accessing clean and renewable energy due to how electrical grids are designed and built and the lack of availability, especially in low-and middle-income countries.
By assessing the climate performance of the digital sector, including emissions, energy use and climate targets, it is expected that the report will help to identify gaps and potential areas of action to accelerate decarbonisation.