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Fun Facts

In a joint Accenture and Vodafone report on smart grids using wireless technology, they found a reduction in carbon emissions in European Union member countries by as much as 113 metric tons per year in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

CTIA - BSR Environment Report

About This Report

The purpose of this report is to explore environmental opportunities and challenges that arise from existing and emerging uses of wireless (licensed spectrum) technology, with a particular focus on the areas of transport, utilities, agriculture, and public services in the U.S. The report was commissioned by CTIA – The Wireless Association® and prepared by BSR.

Executive Summary

The world is witnessing tremendous innovation in wireless technologies, leading to significant changes in how humans and machines interact with one another. These new wireless technologies and the changes they support are generating exciting opportunities to address environmental impacts in a range of fields, from agriculture to utilities.

Wireless enables rapid and efficient information exchange with remote, mobile, or otherwise hard-to-reach people and equipment, in ways that were previously difficult, if not impossible. This encourages the collection of much more detailed information, which can be used in new ways by a wider range of users. This growing "information anywhere" environment creates opportunities to benefit the environment in significant ways, including:

  • Matching supply and demand. Wireless availability of accurate, up-to-date information and communication can be used to focus resources where they are actually needed, and reduce or eliminate excess production or shortages. For example, by knowing when energy or water will be required to meet manufacturing or agricultural needs, utilities and farmers can target these needs more easily.

  • Using less. Wireless networks are being used to optimize resource inputs so that less is required per unit of a product or service. By monitoring vehicle performance, for example, fleet managers can ensure that vehicles receive needed maintenance to keep them running efficiently, and reduce fuel used per mile traveled.

  • Shifting behaviors. Wireless infrastructure can actually take the place of existing activities or infrastructure, so that the same job can be done with much lower environmental impacts. For instance, transportation to distant locations to monitor remote equipment might be unnecessary if a wireless communications network is in place.

These opportunities are particularly relevant in four areas:

  • Moving People and Goods
  • Powering Our Future
  • Nourishing People
  • Providing Public Services

Read the full report...