At telecom companies, carbon footprints are dominated by one thing: running networks. The Economist offers a few tips on how telecoms can reduce carbon footprints and cut costs.
1. Turn down air-conditioning at base stations. Studies show higher temperatures do not reduce equipment’s reliability or life expectancy.
2. Install air-filters and fans to create a steady flow of air. Over the next three years, Vodafone plans to replace air-conditioning with this simpler approach which it calls “freecooling.”
3. Paint the exterior of base-stations white to reflect sunlight.
4. Turn off base stations completely when they are not busy.
Another way to cut emissions is to use renewable sources of energy to power networks. The Economist reported that Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks have installed hundreds of base-station powered by renewables such as solar panels, wind turbines, or biofuels.
Telecom companies are also looking at reducing their environmental impact by redesigning handsets. Nokia has been looking at making mobile phones completely from recycled materials. It has also promised to make more energy-efficient chargers. Sony Ericsson also recently announced a project called GreenHeart phones, which are designed with the product’s life cycle in mind.
More info on mobile carriers and alternative energy here.