ICT Methodologies

What are calculation methodologies?

A calculation methodology is understood in this project as a framework of technical rules to be followed in order to define and assess a specified (group of) indicator(s). There is a clear distinction between methodologies used to assess environmental impacts (so called “footprint" methodologies) or performance indicators (“KPI” methodologies in this project).

What do we mean by ICT methodologies?

“Footprints” methodologies belong to the family of the environmental assessment methods based on Life Cycle Thinking (LCT), i.e., an approach that takes into consideration the spectrum of resource flows and environmental interventions associated with a product, service, or organization from a life-cycle perspective, including all phases from raw material acquisition through processing, distribution, use, and end-of-life processes. ICTFOOTPRINT.eu provides information on methodologies specific to the ICT sector and related to the environmental footprint implementation, with a particular focus on carbon footprint and energy footprint.

Additional methodologies may be applied to calculate performance indicators, for instance in terms of energy consumption. Performance indicators considered within this project are, among others, Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) or Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE).

Some of the methodologies presented in ICTFOOTPRINT.eu are standards, i.e., developed by an official Standards Development Organization (SDO). The others are voluntary initiatives, developed by a consortium of various private/public stakeholders.

An initiative is understood within this project as a guiding tool, either based on a methodological framework or on best practices.

ICTFOOTPRINT.eu considers initiatives developed over a specific methodological framework and their main characteristics, displayed in the Interactive Map and described in each specific factsheets.

ICTFOOTPRINT.eu has carefully defined the process to select ICT standards and other ICT related methodologies based on an initial analysis of the ICT sector and the information gathered by potential users. Various inputs from the EAG members have been considered to refine the selection process and account for relevant ones.

The selection focused on methodologies specific to the ICT sector. As presented also in the ICT Standards section, these may focus on:

  • Products and services (e.g. Product Environmental Footprint – PEF).
  • Organizations (Organization Environmental Footprint – OEF) and projects.
  • Cities.

The criteria used to select the methodologies investigated in the project are the following:

  • Scope of methodology: the first selection criterion applied is the general scope of the methodology.
    • The methodology must cover relevant environmental issues for the project, i.e., at least (but not limited to) climate change or energy (through the angle of the energy consumption or the energy efficiency). Methodologies that deal with very technical aspects, e.g. on-site measurement protocols of the energy consumption of IT equipment, are excluded from the scope of the project.
    • The methodology has to be ICT sector specific. Generic methodologies (e.g. GHG Protocol Standard, ISO 14064, Carbon Disclosure Project, Bilan Carbone) are excluded from the scope of the project even though ICT-specific methodologies may refer to one or more of these generic standards or approaches.
  • Availability of documentation: an important element taken into account to select the methodologies is the public availability of sufficient documentation on the methodologies in order to have a good understanding of the principles and requirement of the methodologies.

Some methodologies under development or methodologies with a restricted diffusion might be missing. We will make regular updates of the methodology list all along the project lifetime in order to fill the potential gaps. Please contact us if you want to share any information about ICT methodologies!

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