Mobile Technologies Help Reduce Carbon Emissions and Address Climate Change
The mobile industry is one of many key sectors playing a crucial role in addressing the challenge of climate change. While Globe and other telecom operators outside the country already committed to reducing their own carbon emissions, they also contribute significantly to the reduction of carbon emissions by other industries through connectivity and behavior change.
A new GSMA report produced in collaboration with The Carbon Trust, an independent sustainability specialist, assessed the enablement impact of mobile communication technology on a global scale. It showed that the use of mobile technology enabled a global reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of around 2,135 million tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2e) in 2018. The emissions savings were almost ten times greater than the global carbon footprint of the mobile industry itself.
The Carbon Trust examined 14 markets around the world to form a representative sample of the ‘enablement effect’ of the mobile sector’s ability to reduce emissions. The results indicate an even split between Machine-to-Machine (M2M)/Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and those through behavior changes from the personal use of smartphones.
The majority of avoided emissions from M2M technologies are primarily in buildings, transport, manufacturing and energy – sectors that make up a large portion of global GHG emissions. On the other hand, personal smartphone usage encourages behaviors like reducing travel for commuting and for leisure, increasing the use of public transport by using apps providing real-time updates, sharing accommodations for short stays and holidays, and reducing travel by use of mobile shopping and mobile banking apps.
Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer said, "The impact of mobile technologies in response to climate change, encourages innovation and hastens the digital transformation of industries and nations."
“As we venture further into the 4th Industrial Revolution, Globe redoubles its efforts to deepen the adoption of existing and emerging mobile technologies such as data connectivity, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence and IoT for good," she added.
Globe recently became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, showing its strong commitment to implement universal sustainability principles.
As part of Singtel Group, Globe joined more than 50 mobile operators from all over the world in a major GSMA-led initiative to develop a mobile industry climate action roadmap that will create a decarbonization pathway for the mobile sector by February next year. The end-goal is to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 to reduce the risks and harmful effects of climate change.
Meanwhile, Tom Delay, CEO of the Carbon Trust said: “Climate change requires a collective effort across governments, businesses and civil society if we are going to succeed in limiting global temperature increases to within 1.5 degrees. This analysis shows the positive role that mobile technology is playing in the evolution of other sectors and is a great example of what is possible.”
The report provided a high-level analysis of six categories of enabling mechanisms, with the following results: smart living, working and health (39% of total avoided emissions in 2018), smart transport and cities (30%), smart manufacturing (11%), smart buildings (10%), smart energy (7%), and smart agriculture (3%).
The GSMA is working with participating operators and partnering with the international community, climate experts and third-party organisations to advance industry progress, establish best practices, and support disclosure and target setting. The work forms part of the industry’s journey to support the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG #13 on Climate Action.
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators and nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.