China’s telecom sector credits telecommuting with huge emissions reductions

May 14, 2010

China's telecom sector released a report this week claiming that it had slashed emissions by 48.5 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2008 by increasing telecommuting, a greater reliance on electronic data storage and more efficient logistics.  This savings is comparable to the amount of emissions Sweden's entire economy is responsible for each year.

The report came from the WWF and China Mobile who had Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications carry out the study. The report says the emissions savings came from all of the transportation, freight and paper and material production that was avoided by digitizing the sector.

The study also concluded that future increases in telecommuting could save up to 340 million tons of emissions in China by 2020.  Even better potential is seen in virtual meetings over air travel, which could save 623 million tons of emissions by 2030.

The report is slightly controversial because the growing energy demand of data centers is increasing emissions, but the report says that those increases are more than offset by the overall emissions savings.

via Guardian

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