DIGITAL SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS AREAS

Sustainable-cloud

Green Cloud-EDGE-IoT Computing Working Group

All sectors of business and society will increasingly rely on the cloud-edge-IoT continuum. It is often argued that the overall trajectory of the ICT sector the way it is used today is unsustainable. Without dramatic increases in its efficiency, the ICT industry could use up to 20% of all electricity and emit up to 5.5% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2025. A reliable assessment of the environmental impact of the Cloud-Edge-IoT continuum, along with effective measures to reduce it, becomes key to the sustainability of our society. Energy-efficiency technologies, mechanisms, and policies must be put in place at several levels to ensure the development of an eco-friendly cloud-edge-IoT-empowered market that is accessible to both public and private organisations.

The Green Cloud-Edge-IoT Computing Working Group is focused on both measuring and improving Cloud-Edge-IoT energy and environmental footprint, identifying major challenges and priorities, and working together with experts and stakeholders from multiple industries and disciplines in addressing them.

Objectives:

  • Analyse, connect, and participate in programs to study and assess the footprint of Cloud-EDGE-IoT continuum.
  • Scout, investigate, and propose architecture, models, and technical solutions to improve the footprint.
  • Assess, discuss, and propose approaches and guidelines for policy development in the domain of sustainable and energy-efficient ICT.
  • Discuss, support, and promote initiatives engaged with social, economical, and behavioural aspects of sustainable digital transformation.
Climate-Neutral and Sustainable Smart Cities Working Group

Climate-Neutral & Sustainable Smart Cities Working Group

By 2050, according to the UN World Population Report, about 70% of the people will be living in cities. Despite many of its positive aspects, urbanization can also have a negative impact on the environment and citizens’ health. With the global adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Goal 11, ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable’, cities are encouraged to make better use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to address urban challenges.

The Climate-Neutral & Sustainable Smart Cities Working Group aims to address the technological aspect of building smart cities and provide sustainable and integrated solutions to reach the European climate and energy goal.

Objectives:

  • Analyse, connect, and participate in programs to innovate cities’ ICT infrastructure towards climate neutrality and sustainability.
  • Scout, investigate, and propose models, standards, and ICT infrastructure solutions covering use cases in urban intelligence and sustainability.
  • Assess, discuss, and propose approaches and guidelines for policy development concerning urban carbon emission and environmental footprint.
Sustainable Next Generation Internet Working Group

SUSTAINABLE NEXT-GENERATION INTERNET

The European Commission envisions the next-generation internet to be human-centric, which gives its end-users full control over their data, ensures secure and trustworthy access through advanced technologies, and dealing responsibly with natural resources.

In order to reconfigure and shape such an internet, five key pillars have been identified:

  • Democracy – Citizens be the owners of their personal data & identity.
  • Resilience – A human-centric internet that is resilient, reliable, and sustainable.
  • Sustainability – Ensure the minimization of the environmental footprint and advancement of the circular economy for digital devices.
  • Trust – Need for more trustworthy models for online interactions, reliable information, data sharing, and identity management.
  • Inclusion – Internet accessibility for all by removing social, economic, and infrastructural access barriers.

Objectives:

  • Analyse, connect, and participate in programs to study, measure, and attribute carbon and environmental footprint to specific layers, technologies, and nodes of the current Internet and of its possible future evolutions.
  • Discuss, investigate, and evaluate the synergies, conflicts, and trade-offs between decentralized, human-centric, trustworthy Internet architectures and sustainable, circular, and carbon-neutral technologies.
  • Study and construct initial views of the structure and interaction among business models, ethical frameworks, and technical approaches for a human-centric and sustainable internet.
TOWARDS ZERO POLLUTION COMMUNICATION NETWORKS_WG

TOWARDS Zero Pollution Communication Networks

The continuous evolution of telecommunication networks resulted in improvements of several order of magnitudes for many performance metrics. Among these, energy efficiency plays an important part to connect the ever-increasing  network speed and reliability with a sustainable carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. Just as it is happening for Cloud and IT systems, telecommunication networks need to be assessed for their end-to-end, full life-cycle impact on our planet. Highly energy-efficient appliances do not help with the struggle against climate change and planet pollution if this efficiency results in more nodes, more antennas, more satellites until the aggregated impact becomes even greater than the one of the less efficient but smaller networks of previous generations.

Among future telecommunication networks, the 6G roadmap envisages a framework of services, including communication services where all user-specific computation and intelligence may move to the Cloud Edge. Natively integrating sensing with communication using specialized virtualization techniques will bring another leap in the network capabilities. The advancement of technologies for 6G may further contribute to the aim of reducing environmental impact through reducing the energy consumption of operating the networks including the use of zero energy devices with impacts across many industries and sectors (White paper on 6G Drivers and UN SDGs). A combination of technological innovation and responsible governance is the best approach to significantly move towards Zero Pollution telecommunication networks.

Now, after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for high-speed, resilient, and sustainable communication infrastructure is paramount. It is expected that the technology will evolve and enable industrial applications such as Connected & Automated Mobility and Industry 4.0, which are among the steps needed to green the European economy. To tackle these challenges, the European Commission has undertaken a massive initiative under its wings. Details of the initiative here.

Objectives:

  • Examine the requirements, use cases, and concepts pertaining to sustainable technical enhancement and evolution of 5G to 6G and future mobile communication technologies/networks.
  • Look at future market trends, needs, social problems, and technological evolutions aiming to further the future of sustainable mobile communication technologies.