Key Sustainability Indicators for Next Generation Radio Network Technologies

ATIS’ Next G Alliance (NGA) recently announced the release of the Green G Working Group’s white paper titled "Evolution of Sustainability Indicators for Next Generation Radio Network Technologies". The report/paper can be downloaded from here.

The following is from the paper introduction:

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and one of the greatest challenges for humanity to address. As the world starts to experience the negative impacts of climate change — including record-breaking heatwaves, floods, and storms — climate science is clear: To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, humanity needs to reduce global emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier if possible. Net zero is a future state achieved by cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to as close to zero as possible, with any residual emissions re-absorbed from the atmosphere by technological or natural processes. According to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global temperatures have already risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in some areas of the world, which is very close to the Paris Climate Agreement of limiting global temperature rise below 1.5 C. Humanity has a narrow window of opportunity to act and create a sustainable future.

The Information Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem has developed a collaborative pathway to reach net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. This net zero pathway encompasses the entire ICT value chain, including emissions within direct operational control (Scope 1) and indirect emissions (Scope 2) from the generation of purchased electricity, as well as emissions from products, during manufacturing, and transportation (Scope 3). As the ICT industry collaborates on the research, development, standardization, and introduction of next-generation radio access technologies, environmental sustainability must be at the forefront of all decisions throughout this lifecycle. The objective of this white paper is to provide recommendations for operational key performance indicators (KPIs) that the ICT industry can use to benchmark progress toward achieving environmental sustainability and climate action goals.

This white paper discusses current and future environmental sustainability KPIs, as well as technological enablers critical for the transition from Sustainability-Aware to Sustainability-Native next-generation wireless technologies. It also introduces three crucial dimensions — Observability, Choice, and Circular Economy — that provide an enhanced approach for implementing KPIs that ensure integration of environmental sustainability principles in design and operation of next-generation wireless technologies.

A webinar on this report was held this week where the authors held interactive discussion about the key takeaways of this white paper, including:

  • Key sustainability indicators essential for reaching Net Zero emissions.
  • Technological enablers critical for transitioning to sustainability native 6G.  
  • Importance of observability, choice, and circular economy for implementing key sustainability indicators.

The recording is embedded below:

You can find out more about NGA's Green G working group here.

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