The global information and communications technologies (ICT) sector drives economic growth, digital transformation, innovation, and global connectivity. However, this growth comes with a price tag. According to a newly published report from Allianz Research, the global ICT sector also emits a significant amount of greenhouse gases, comparable to the aviation industry. In 2020, the ICT sector accounted for 1.8 to 2.8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which are projected to reach 830 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030. However, the sector’s carbon footprint can be reduced through the adoption of renewable energy sources and energy-efficient practices. Reducing the remaining emissions is achievable through the optimization of the product life cycle, involving evaluations of material selection, design decisions, manufacturing, and transportation.
Decarbonizing cryptocurrency is crucial, but blockchain technology—which forms the basis of cryptocurrencies—can also be utilized to support climate action, by enabling transparent tracking of emissions and facilitating a trustworthy Voluntary Carbon Market.
The majority of emissions in the ICT sector come from user devices, and it is unlikely that consumer behavior will significantly shift toward using fewer devices in the future. Policymakers will likely need to implement regulations or incentives to drive changes in consumer behavior toward reducing emissions from user devices. Therefore, top-down mandates might be necessary to enforce emission reduction measures.
Overall, tackling the carbon footprint of the ICT sector requires a multi-faceted approach, involving renewable energy adoption, energy efficiency improvements, decarbonization of cryptocurrencies, and policy interventions to influence consumer behavior. Allianz takes the topic of reducing the carbon footprint of the ICT sector seriously and is actively involved in various efforts to address this challenge. Stay tuned, more to come soon regarding our measures and actions to drive positive change and contribute to a more sustainable future.
The Allianz Group is one of the world’s leading insurers and asset managers with more than 122 million* private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 717 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage about 1.7 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are among the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2022, over 159,000 employees achieved total revenues of 152.7 billion euros and an operating profit of 14.2 billion euros for the group***.