Next G Alliance Working Groups

Green G

— Minimizing the environmental impact of future generations of wireless technology.

The mission of the Green G Working Group is to position North America as the global leader in environmental sustainability in future generations of wireless technology. The work addresses reducing Next G technologies’ energy consumption and environmental impact. It involves assessing environmental impacts, such as water and materials consumption; exploring the use of renewable and/or ambient energy; and investigating how the ICT industry can help other related industries reduce their environmental footprint. The goal is to build an environmentally friendly focus into Next G standards and technologies as well as the communications industry globally.

 

Why Do We Need Green G?

The energy consumed by the telecom industry today is 3% of global energy consumption. [1]. Given our growing population, the number of mobile subscriptions and network traffic keeps increasing worldwide, with a predicted increase in energy consumption of 170% by 2026. [2] By 2040, information and communication technology (ICT) is expected to be responsible for one-fifth of all global electricity consumption. By 2040, it could generate 14 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. [3] If the entire system is not energy efficient, 5G will not be sustainable.

The Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change, sets forth the objective of limiting global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To do this, the world needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions dramatically. [4]. For the ICT sector to decrease its emissions in line with other parts of the economy, it would have to reduce its CO2 emissions by 42% by 2030, at least 72% by 2040, and 91% by 2050. [5]

Beyond energy consumption and emissions, the ICT sector’s overall environmental impact also must be considered, including water consumption, raw material sourcing, and waste handling. In short, we must transition to a circular economy, an economic system that tackles global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution comprehensively. [6]

The Green G Working Group is hard at work to ensure that the telecommunications industry not only meets its own sustainability targets, but also creates an ecosystem to enable other industries to achieve their own sustainability goals.

 

Timeline

After its launch in early 2021, the Green G Working Group issued its first white paper, Green G: The Path Toward Sustainable 6G, that examines the status of sustainability in ICT, identifies gaps, and proposes research initiatives. A second white paper is in progress to define KPIs for green networks. The expected deadline is Fall 2022. Please join us to contribute or stay tuned for updates!”

 

Events and Media Coverage

Media Coverage
Events

If you are interested in having Green G speak at your event, get in touch here.

 

[1] https://www.gsma.com/futurenetworks/wiki/energy-efficiency-2/

[2] https://www.vertiv.com/en-asia/about/news-and-insights/news-releases/vertiv-and-451-research-survey-reveals-more-than-90-percent-of-operators-fear-increasing-energy-costs-for-5g-and-edge/

[3] https://www.ericsson.com/en/reports-and-papers/industrylab/reports/a-quick-guide-to-your-digital-carbon-footprint

[4] https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

[5] https://arxiv.org/pdf/2102.02622.pd

[6] https://reports.weforum.org/toward-the-circular-economy-accelerating-the-scale-up-across-global-supply-chains/from-linear-to-circular-accelerating-a-proven-concept/

Leadership

  • Bhushan Joshi (Ericsson), Chair
  • Micaela Giuhat (Microsoft), Vice Chair
  • Colleen Josephson (VMware), Vice Chair
  • Ian Deakin (ATIS)

Contributions

Green G: The Path Towards Sustainable 6G