The energy and carbon footprint of the ICT and E&M sector in Sweden 1990-2015 and beyond

Friday Seminar
Date and time: April 07, 2017 14:30 - 16:00
Place: EIT Digital Open Area, Floor 3, Elevator C, Electrum Kista
Speaker: Dag Lundén, Telia and Jens Malmodin, Ericsson

Ericsson Telia ICT4S 2016 Paper 37 v2

EricssonTelia – 2017-04-07 – pdf-ok

This Friday Seminar is based on a paper presented on the ICT4S conference in Amsterdam 2016 and is a detailed study of the energy and carbon footprint of the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and E&M (Entertainment and Media) sectors in Sweden both historically, currently (2015) and beyond. It is a follow up to a study of ICT in Sweden 2010.

Several studies predict that the ICT and E&M sectors will continue to increase their energy and carbon footprints, and in the case of ICT exponentially similar to the data traffic increase. This study shows that in fact the opposite trend is seen in Sweden, the footprints have started to decrease despite a continuing exponential increase in data traffic. The study is based on a large share of measured data and Sweden is world-leading in many ICT and E&M metrics, thus it can be seen as an exellent case study and guide on how ICT and E&M will develop globally in the future.

This study shows that the energy and carbon footprints of the ICT and E&M sectors have decreased from a peak at around 2010. The increasing trend of using tablets and smartphones with a low energy consumption (small screens) instead of PCs and TVs is an important contributing factor. Despite that the sales of PCs and TVs have decreased by nearly 20%, the embodied carbon footprint from their manufacturing processes abroad are still the largest source of ICT related carbon emissions in Sweden. The carbon footprint related to operation is low due to the low-carbon Swedish electricity mix.

Based on current trends and network plans, it can be forecasted that the energy and carbon footprints of the ICT and the E&M sectors will continue to decrease at least until 2020. 

Keywords—ICT, ICT networks, ICT sector, energy footprint, carbon footprint

About the authors:

Jens Malmodin joined Ericsson in 1995 and started to work with environmental issues, life cycle assessments (LCA), energy issues and Ericsson sustainability reporting at Ericsson Radio Systems Basic Technology Research Unit.

From 2007 he has worked with the very same issues at the Sustainability Research Team at Ericsson Research but now also with a more broad focus on how ICT can help society and other sectors reduce its impact on the environment. Jens holds an MSc in material engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden.

Dag Lundén joined Telia (at the time Televerket Radio) in 1984 and works today as environmental manager for the Technology unit in Sweden. The work contains more or less the whole spectrum in the environmental field including corporate strategy, research, legislation and product development all the way to recycling and waste treatment. During the last couple of years the main focus has been on RoD within the area of energy efficiency and Life Cycle Assessment. Dag holds an MSc in Land surveying from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden.


Coffee and sweets will be served!

Most Welcome!

Wireless@KTH team

Presentation Slides and Research Report are linked at the top of this page!


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