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

Launched in early 2021, the Green G Working Group is currently working on a two-year time horizon. Its first whitepaper, now in process, will broadly examine the status of sustainability in ICT and will be used to identify gaps and propose future initiatives. The expected deadline is fall 2021. 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

  • Marie-Paule Odini (HPE), Chair
  • Micaela Giuhat (Microsoft), Vice Chair
  • Colleen Josephson (VMware), Vice Chair
  • Ian Deakin (ATIS)