The group has formed a secretariat, led by the Carbon Trust, to develop the industry’s first specification for measuring, accounting for and decarbonising the emissions associated with connected devices while being used by customers.
Globally, connected devices, which include any device that can connect to another or a network via the internet, have an annual electricity consumption similar to that of France1. This includes devices like phones, speakers, laptops and other home appliances, which combined used 500TWh of energy in 20202. As the number of these devices increases globally, as well as demand for data, reducing their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is becoming a key focus for the industry.
A device’s ‘use phase’, or the time it spends being used by the consumer, accounts for up to 85% of its total carbon footprint throughout its lifecycle3. This includes battery-powered smart devices, and those plugged into the wall within a customer’s home. Many of these devices can remotely report energy use, providing an opportunity to significantly improve accuracy of energy consumption estimates.
This latest joint commitment demonstrates the industry’s desire to better understand and account for these emissions in a standardised way. The group aims to produce an accurate baseline for reporting energy efficiency improvements and establish rules for matching electricity consumption with renewable energy generation, as well as applying technology to optimise energy use of connected devices by consumers. This means that a significant portion of the 500TWh could be reduced and additional renewable electricity capacity created. Companies will then be able to track the impact of these measures, leading to effective decarbonisation over time.
Hugh Jones, Managing Director at the Carbon Trust said, “The connected device industry is innovative, advanced, and ambitious. It has a critical role to play in Net Zero progress. This product-level approach will provide an open, credible, and united methodology on device data measurement to help drive down use-phase emissions across the sector. We are excited to be at the forefront of this cross-industry collaborative effort. If you are a device manufacturer or retailer that would like to get involved in the development of the methodology, please get in touch.”
Development of the secretariat officially begins in September 2022. The secretariat is open to new members for a limited period. It is expected to be completed in 2023 when the specification will be made publicly available to support an industry-wide drive towards Net Zero.
Notes to editors
Maiken Moeller-Hansen, Director of Energy and Sustainability at Amazon Devices and Services: “Amazon has long been committed to the reduction of carbon emissions, and this secretariat opens a pathway for our industry to better measure and further work on decarbonizing the use phase of devices. We look forward to working with both Carbon Trust and the founding members and encourage more companies to join us in this effort.”
Edward Palmieri, Global Sustainability Director at Meta:
“Meta is excited to partner with the Carbon Trust and others to develop this important methodology. This measure will provide companies with needed information to help drive greenhouse gas emissions reductions.”
Won-Kyong Kim, Executive Vice President & Head of Corporate Sustainability Center at Samsung Electronics:
"Samsung Electronics aims to empower the users to reduce their carbon footprint everyday by using our connected products and services, including SmartThings energy service. We look forward to collaborating with the Carbon Trust and the secretariat to develop standards to better measure, track and reduce the use-phase energy consumption of connected devices."
Fiona Ball, Group Director, Bigger Picture (Responsible Business, Sustainability and Social Impact) at Sky:
“At Sky, sustainability is at the heart of our product design and we are committed to reducing the carbon footprint from the use of our products in customer homes. We are excited to partner with the Carbon Trust and the founding members to develop this guidance.”
For further information please contact:
The Carbon Trust press office on +44 (0)20 7170 7050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Carbon Trust client support team on +44 (0)207 170 7000 or https://www.carbontrust.com/contact
About the Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is a global climate consultancy driven by the mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future. We have been pioneering decarbonisation for more than 20 years for businesses, governments, and organisations. Drawing on a network of over 400 experts internationally, the Carbon Trust guides organisations through their journey to Net Zero. From strategic planning and target setting to delivery, activation, and communication - we provide smarter ways to turn intent into impact.