Connected sustainable world
The world needs to halve global carbon emissions by 2030, and then again by 2040, and also deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this transformative time, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) provides an important toolbox for building a better, more sustainable future. A key research question is, therefore, how we can minimize their environmental footprint at the same time maximizing the positive effects of current and future mobile networks and other digital technologies. Finding the answers is the main mission for research in this area.
Sustainability journey with ICT
With the Connected Sustainable World journey, we enter a new phase in our research, where we will further integrate sustainability aspects with our technology research. This integration will be done both for our in-house research projects, and in our research collaborations such as the European Hexa-X project. Hexa-X highlights sustainability as a core value and as an important aspect to be included in both use cases and technology requirements.
The journey is divided into two main parts and aims to cover the technology implication of both:
- Sustainable ICT, which concerns the sustainability aspects of the technology itself and
- ICT for sustainability, which looks into the opportunities of the technology to act as a vehicle for sustainability.
In the context of this journey, ICT refers to the technologies used in the mobile communications ecosystem, including emerging technologies such as xR, IoT, and AI, and their impacts across environmental, social, and economic dimensions.
Key research areas
In a Connected Sustainable World, the environmental footprint of ICT technologies has been minimized and these technologies are leveraged to safeguard people and our life-supporting systems.
By doing so, the technology will be established as an important vehicle towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The main dimensions of the technology journey are further divided into five key focus areas for research. Two of these relate to the sustainable development of our technology (Sustainable ICT), and three emphasize the optimization of our technology and its use cases for sustainable purposes (ICT for sustainability). All of the focus areas are essential, interdependent, and need to be addressed in parallel and continuously.
deals with minimizing the carbon emissions and the use of energy and materials by the technologies themselves. It is also about preparing technologies for sharing and designing for affordability.
is about ethical frameworks and securing human rights but also deals with planetary boundaries and information transparency.
ICT for sustainability
ICT for inclusion
deals with how our technology can be used to empower individuals and focuses on areas that can be addressed, at least partly, at an individual level or on a smaller scale.
ICT for society
is about strengthening society as a whole, including societal systems and institutions such as the economic systems and infrastructures.
ICT for the environment
is about using our technology as a vehicle for the transition to a net-zero society operating within planetary boundaries. It´s about maximizing positive impacts and minimizing adverse effects.
Example use cases
Provide cost-effective video/XR doctor’s consultations remotely to everyone, including remote rural areas and impoverished groups.
Discover a world of new possibilities
Assessing sustainability impacts
A fundamental aspect to Ericsson’s approach broadly is to base its decisions on research and science – this applies equally to sustainability topics. We carry out peer-reviewed research, both alone and in collaboration with research partners from academia and business, on the environmental, social and economic effects of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), providing facts and insights for the company, the industry and stakeholders.
More about Hexa-X
Learn about the expanded 6G vision, use cases, and societal values – including aspects of sustainability, security, and spectrum.