Jens Malmodin

Senior Specialist in the Sustainability Research Team
Ericsson Research
Jens Malmodin joined Ericsson in 1994 to work with environmental issues and life cycle assessments at the radio base station basic technology research unit. He has 25 years of experience of environmental assessments and data reporting on behalf of Ericsson and has also worked with non-environmental tasks at Ericsson including system design and energy efficiency of radio base stations. From 2007, he is a member of the Sustainability Research Team at Ericsson Research and was appointed Senior Specialist in 2016. He has published many papers and articles about LCA of ICT products, systems and services, including studies on the ICT sector level and how ICT can help society reduce its impact on the environment. Jens holds an MSc in material engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden.
Talk: The ICT and E&M sector’s footprints are flat or decreasing and in some parts decreasing rather fast
The energy and carbon footprints of the ICT sector and its various services has been debated over the years. A common misconception is that the footprints are growing fast proportional to data use, but this is not true. Based on extensive up-to-date primary measured data, our research show that instead of growing, the footprints of the ICT sector have been flat or decreasing the last decade. And this is despite a continuing increase of data traffic and a growing number of E&M (entertainment & media) services that are now run on ICT networks and devices.

Modern ways to stream video and music, to download apps and games, are more efficient than traditional ways. Today we can use smartphones for things that required a PC or TV set before. In contrast to common belief, about 20-25% less PCs and 10-15% less TVs have been produced in the last years. The footprints of the E&M sector have decreased by over 30% as paper media has “moved online” and many consumer electronics have become apps and people also watch less traditional TV. In 2020, during the lockdowns, we saw more use of ICT and E&M than ever, but hardly any increase in the footprint can be observed.