Digital sustainability survey expanded to include data centres

French telecommunications regulator, Arcep, has begun the latest round of data collection for their annual ‘Achieving Digital Sustainability’ survey, which, for 2023, will extend the measurement of the environmental footprint of the digital sphere to device manufacturers and data centre operators.

For data centre operators, Arcep is hoping to collect data concerning their greenhouse gas emissions in France, the maximum allowable electrical power of IT hardware in data centres’ computer rooms, their energy and electricity consumptions, and also the volume of water used.

With regards to device manufacturers, Arcep are hoping to discover the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the devices’ production and sales, the amounts of rare earths and precious metals used during production, the volumes of new and refurbished devices, their total active lifespan, and televisions’ and computer displays’ electricity consumption levels.

Since 2020, Arcep has been collecting data from France’s main operators on their environmental footprint, which led to the publication of the first edition of their survey. A second edition, which is identical in scope, will be published in spring 2023.

A third edition, expanded to include indicators collected from other digital industry stakeholders, starting in January 2023, will be published towards the end of the year.

According to Arcep, there are four main objectives attached to their ‘Achieving Digital Sustainability’ survey: it should inform citizens, public sector players and all of the stakeholders on the digital sector’s environmental footprint; identify economic players’ activities that are likely to have an impact on the environment; encourage stakeholders to take steps to achieve the most efficient measurement possible of their environmental footprint; and monitor the progression of these indicators over time, creating the ability to assess the impact of environmental protection actions put in place by businesses’, and to supply relevant information for evaluating public policies on digital and the environment, and particularly the Authority’s actions in this area.

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