The NGMN Alliance has encouraged operators to pursue more sustainable approaches in the design, manufacturing and operation of mobile networks, and to look for ways to decrease their energy and water usage, in its latest report, Reducing Environmental Impact: Best Practices and Recommendations. The report also presents guidelines on how mobile network operators can mitigate their environmental impact with respect to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and materials usage.
The report recommends specific strategies to minimise the use of raw materials, prolong product life, and select more eco-friendly materials. It highlights the essential aspects that operators should consider, such as choosing non-toxic components, cutting down on plastics, and leveraging AI and quantum technologies.
Additionally, it emphasised that the energy consumption of servers, network equipment and devices, and the associated GHG emissions should be taken into account. Lastly, NGMN urged companies to measure and reduce their water footprint throughout the lifecycle and supply chain of equipment, as climate change worsens global water shortages. It also advised companies to address local water issues by collaborating and supporting watershed restoration projects. Moreover, it suggested that telco companies adopt immersion cooling and water-free cooling to minimise water use in data centres.