Significant reduction of CO₂ emissions possible with smart ICT solutions


Innovative and smart ICT solutions can significantly reduce energy and water consumption, and CO₂ emissions in The Netherlands while at the same time spurring economic growth. This is the conclusion of the #SMARTer2030 report for Netherlands, a publication by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) in cooperation with KPN.

Historically, each percentage point of economic growth resulted in an increase of 0.5% of CO₂ emissions. The report shows that smart ICT solutions can break this trend and decouple economic growth from growth in CO2 emissions.

KPN CEO Eelco Blok on sustainable growth: "Reducing CO₂ emissions and energy consumption have been top priorities for KPN since 2008. As a result KPN became carbon neutral for its own operations in 2015 and we also managed to decrease our total energy consumption for the past five consecutive years. Quite an achievement when you consider that data communication has increased exponentially during that period. With the experiences gained from our own energy efficiency program we are now able to help our customers reduce their energy consumption. By 2020, we want to ensure that our customers are able to save as much energy using our products and services as KPN consumes itself. But with the help of smart ICT solutions, such as remote monitoring and other Internet of Things applications, we can collectively do much more to transition to sustainable economic growth. This offers KPN, our customers and partners many possibilities to fulfil the promise of the #SMARTer2030 Netherlands report."

Main conclusions from the report:

  • Innovative ICT applications can enable a structural saving of approximately 74 million tons CO₂e in the Netherlands by 2030. In 2014, total emissions in the Netherlands amounted to 187 million tonnes of CO₂e, according to the Dutch Statistics Bureau (CBS).
  • The biggest CO₂ emission reduction can be realised in manufacturing, logistics, smart building applications and energy.
  • Using smart ICT applications the Netherlands can structurally reduce annual energy consumption by 123 million MWh (gas and electricity) and annual water consumption by 870 billion litres.
  • The yearly consumption of fossil fuels can structurally come down by 5.6 billion litres.
  • Agricultural yield can increase by ca. 1 ton/hectare.
  • In the Netherlands, ICT solutions with sustainability benefits can in 2030 deliver a total of € 74 billion of economic benefits: € 25 billion savings, € 37 billion in new revenue for stakeholders outside the ICT sector and € 12 billion within the sector.

Especially Internet of Things - communication between devices - can contribute significantly to these savings. For example, preventive maintenance will be unnecessary if equipment can indicate itself when a part needs to be replaced. This saves costs, travel and therefore CO₂.

Anwar Osseyran, board member Sustainability at Netherlands ICT (Dutch trade association for the ICT-industry): "This report emphasizes the great enabling potential of ICT to achieve the necessary transition towards a sustainable Dutch society while contributing to economic growth."

Less, cleaner, helping customers Energy consumption and CO₂ emissions reduction are top priorities for KPN, as well as helping customers to reduce their CO₂ footprint. KPN’s climate policy and performance has won recognition. In 2015, KPN was listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fourth consecutive year as one of the nine most sustainable telecoms companies in the world. In addition, in 2015 the CDP labelled KPN climate leader in the telecom sector. KPN, responsible for 0.8% of Dutch electricity consumption, is carbon neutral for its own operation since 2015. The company does so by only using green electricity generated in the Netherlands (88% of KPN’s energy consumption), and compensating greenhouse gas (3%) and motor fuels (9%) through forest compensation projects and Gold Standard certificates. In this way KPN does not contribute to the CO₂ emissions of the Netherlands.

About the report The # SMARTer2030 report was launched in 2015 by GeSI (Global e-Sustainability Initiative) and international management consulting organization Accenture. On behalf of KPN, Accenture calculated the opportunities for the Netherlands. GeSI is an international cooperation in the ICT sector seeking a sustainable world through responsible, ICT-driven transformation.

Download # SMARTer2030 Netherlands report here:

Additional information:

· #SMARTer2030 Global Report

· Read more on KPN Sustainability policy in the KPN Annual Report 2015