The production and use of hardware require a lot of energy and are accompanied by substantial pollution. The global ICT sector currently contributes an estimated three to six percent to global emissions, a figure comparable to the emissions of the global cement industry.
However, recent studies predict a troubling trend. If the current growth line continues, the production and use of ICT could be responsible for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. This percentage is comparable to the emissions of the entire transport sector or the global energy consumption in the built environment.
This prediction underlines the urgent need to rethink our approach to ICT hardware. While technology plays a crucial role in our daily lives and the economy, we need to consider the sustainability of our ICT practices. We must look for ways to extend the lifespan of our devices, improve recycling programs, and find, and switch to, ‘greener’ technologies.
It’s essential that both industry and consumers become aware of this environmental issue. Companies should be encouraged to develop more environmentally friendly production methods, and consumers should be urged to handle their ICT equipment more responsibly. This could include repair instead of replacement and correctly disposing of old devices for recycling.