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Study shows: 5G is critical to achieving Europe’s climate goals (PHOTO)

28.10.2021

Düsseldorf (OTS) – * New Europe-wide analysis[1] It concludes that the use of 5G technology in four emissions-intensive sectors could result in annual emissions savings equivalent to removing more than 35 million cars on EU roads.[2]

*The findings highlight the need for rapid deployment of 5G across Europe in order to meet national and EU-wide targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.

* Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson: “The European Union and the United Kingdom have set ambitious carbon targets that require change across society. This new analysis shows that connectivity, and 5G in particular, are essential to achieving these decarbonization goals.”

The introduction of 5G by 2030 will have an immediate and accelerating impact on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2 equivalent) emissions in Europe and the United Kingdom, according to a new study commissioned by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC). To this end, the rapid expansion of Europe’s digital infrastructure must be promoted.

As European countries ramp up their efforts to achieve climate goals, a new Europe-wide analysis has concluded that introducing 5G technology in four emissions-intensive sectors — energy, transportation, manufacturing and buildings — yields 55 to 170 million. Tons of CO2 equivalent per year can be saved. An amount that can be achieved by canceling 35 million cars. This is one of seven cars on the roads of Europe.

* Energy: up to 75 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; Example: Sensor-controlled improvements in the generation and use of renewable energies

* Transportation: up to 55 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; Example: improving the use of trucks

* Manufacturing: up to 35 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; Example: Increasing efficiency in sensor-controlled factories

* Buildings and offices: up to 5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; Example: Enabling flexible and decentralized work through a 5G connection

If you look beyond 5G for the connectivity sector as a whole, the link becomes clearer: analysis of a European decarbonization scenario indicates that connectivity is essential for climate protection solutions, which will outweigh the costs of about 550 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The period up to 2030. For comparison: this corresponds to 15 percent of total EU emissions in 2017. This year was chosen as the benchmark for analysis.[3]

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Despite the potential at stake, new expectations for 5G launch from Ericsson’s annual Mobility Report paint a worrying picture for Europe. At the end of 2020, about 15 percent of the world’s population will have 5G networks. In 2027, just three years before global emissions, they must halve for global warming to reach 1.5°C.[4] According to the new forecast, only about 75 percent of the world’s population will be equipped with a 5G network. It is estimated that North America and Northeast Asia will cover more than 95 percent of its population by 2027. By contrast, Europe, with a population coverage of over 80 percent, will lag far behind its economic competitors.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, said: “The European Union and the UK have set ambitious carbon emission reduction targets that require change across society. This new analysis shows that connectivity, and 5G in particular, are essential to achieving these decarbonization targets is critical. It is difficult to see how these goals will be achieved if the expansion of digital infrastructure in Europe is not accelerated as quickly as in other leading countries and regions of the world.”

“At Ericsson, we see sustainability as a primary responsibility, not an additional, optional responsibility. We will continue to invest heavily, not only for our customers with energy-efficient products and solutions, but also in our own operations, as we do in 5G Smart. The US plant is a great example of emissions savings which can be achieved by adopting 5G manufacturing.”

“With the advent of 5G, Europe is currently heading towards a more digital and lower carbon future where other regions are heading in the same direction. Policy makers and regulators play an important role here by tapping into the competitive economic, social and sustainable potential of the 5G network and working together quickly to remove practical, regulatory and financial barriers in favor of people, companies, industries and societies across Europe.”

Ericsson itself has invested heavily in energy-efficient research and development as well as in product and solution development across all technology portfolios in order to provide customers with more sustainable alternatives to their network modernization strategies.

Ericsson’s 5G Smart Factory Manufacturing Complex is built in Louisville, Texas, USA, using best practices to achieve overall environmental sustainability. Ericsson’s energy-efficient 5G solutions operate in this location.

The plant is designed to use 24 percent less energy, 75 percent less water indoors and 97 percent less operational carbon emissions than comparable buildings.

The 5G Smart Factory was honored twice in 2020 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for its global leadership role in the next generation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and for its achievements in industrialization and sustainability.

Note to editors:

The new analysis, published by Ericsson in the Connectivity and Climate Change Report, builds on data sources and methodologies from our previous research on 5G use cases, our collaborative research with operators on the environmental footprint of telecoms networks, and McKinsey’s Net-Zero Europe report.

About Ericsson

Ericsson is the world’s leading technology and services company with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. The primary business is the processing of cellular networks. The company’s portfolio includes networking, digital services, managed services and start-up businesses. Ericsson’s investment in innovation has brought the benefits of cellular communications to life for billions of people around the world. The company helps its clients develop digitization, increase efficiency, and develop new revenue streams.

Founded in 1876, the company employs approximately 101,000 people worldwide and works with clients in 180 countries. In 2020, Ericsson’s net sales amounted to SEK 232.4 billion. Ericsson is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in Stockholm and New York.

Ericsson currently has 149 commercial agreements and contracts with mobile network operators worldwide. In addition, Ericsson participates in the majority of commercially launched live 5G networks. Ericsson’s 97 live 5G networks worldwide include networks in Germany and Switzerland. www.ericsson.com/5G

In Germany, Ericsson employs about 2,700 people at 12 sites – including about 1,000 people in research and development (R&D). The main office is in Dusseldorf.

[1] Using the McKinsey Net Zero Europe Report as a baseline

[2] Environmental Protection Agency (2021). Greenhouse gas equation calculator. retrieved from:
https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivale…
European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (2021). Used cars in Europe, passenger cars, 2017. Retrieved from:
https://www.acea.auto/files/report-vehicles-in-use-e…
1-1.pdf. Please note that the EPA Equivalency Calculator uses average annual emissions from US automobiles.

[3] European Environment Agency (2021). EUA Greenhouse Gases – Data Viewer. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector Pooled, Agriculture, International Shipping and International Aviation, 2017. Retrieved from:
https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/data-viewer…
gas display

[4] Exponential timeline (2020). 36 solutions to cut emissions in half by 2030. Retrieved from:
https://ots.de/rmeFf1

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