A quick guide to your digital carbon footprint

Deconstructing Information and Communication Technology’s carbon emissions

A quick guide to your digital carbon footprint

Have you ever worried how your online activities impact the climate? According to this report, the true impact may be a lot smaller than you think.

Quantifying the footprint of our digital lives is not rocket science, but it demands an understanding of the technology, its development, and usage. Listen to the latest Ericsson News Podcast with Pernilla Bergmark, Master Researcher at Ericsson, for everything you need to know about the climate impacts of our digital lives.

A guide to your digital carbon footprint

A quick guide to your digital carbon footprint

Carbon emissions from digital solutions are generating a lot of interest and debate. This report aims to explore the issue in greater detail and debunk common myths.

Read the full report here!

Key takeaways

  • Digital devices are becoming increasingly widespread, but the carbon footprint of the ICT sector remains fairly stable, at around 1.4 percent of overall global emissions

  • The ICT sector’s carbon footprint could be reduced by over 80 percent if all electricity consumed came from renewable energy sources

  • The digital footprint of individuals makes up a small percentage of their total carbon footprint and could be reduced further e.g. by switching devices less frequently
  • Calculating carbon footprints is not rocket science but does demand sufficient understanding of the technology itself in order to give accurate results

  • Beyond carbon footprint, digital technologies are powerful tools that can be used either for better or for worse, depending on societal framing. Used well, they provide opportunities to accelerate decarbonization in line with societal goals. However, if framed incorrectly, they can also accelerate carbon intensive activities

Common news headline types

Smartphones consume as much energy as fridges
Data explosion will result in major electricity consumption
Social media use has a major carbon footprint
How badly is your streaming impacting the environment?