ITU-T L. 1420 Factsheet

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ITU-T L.1420 - Recommendation ITU-T L.1420: Methodology for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions impact assessment of information and communication technologies in organisations
Name of Initiative/Methodology

Recommendation ITU-T L.1420: Methodology for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions impact assessment of information and communication technologies in organisations

Link to the latest published version

L.1420 (02/2012): Version 1.0

Developed by

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
History and Status

o Approved in February 2012

o Publicly available and used

Involved companies / parties

o The Study Group 5 of ITU-T is responsible for studying ICT environmental aspects of electromagnetic phenomena and climate change.

o The SG5 includes Huawei, Hitachi, Telecom Italia, Orange, Littelfuse, Ericsson,  Epcos AG, the JRC, TU Budapest, Aalto University, ETRI, NTT


Organisation env. accounting

 Scope 1  
 Scope 2  
 Scope 3

Product env. assessment 

 Life cycle approach  

 Use phase only


 Energy (focus on secondary energy)

 Other environmental impacts


System(s) covered by the methodology

o ICT activities in non-ICT organisations

o ICT organisations


o Identifying energy consumption and GHG impacts of the organisation

o Providing information to decisions-makers in organisations

o Selecting relevant indicators for monitoring of environmental performance

o Understanding improvements in GHG emissions over time

o Assessing first and second order effects defined in ITU-T L.1410 emerging from the use of ICT in non-ICT organisations.

Generic features

o GHG offset is not taken into account.

o For ICT organisations, it can be used as a supplement to ISO 14064-1 and GHG Protocol standards. Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions shall be included. GHG emissions in scope 3 should also be included. For scope 3 GHG emissions, a reference table indicating the reporting structure and scope 3 sources is given in Appendix I.

o The general steps include: 

  • Definition of organisational boundaries defining which parts of the organisation to include in the assessment and operational boundaries defining activity associated with Scope 1, 2 and 3.
  • Identification of energy consumption and GHG sources. 
  • Selection of quantification methodology 
  • Calculation of energy consumption and GHG emissions 

o An uncertainty assessment for GHG emissions shall be performed in accordance with clause 5.4 of ISO 14064-1 (ICT organisations)

o The result needs to be aggregated to an organisational level and on an annual basis.

ICT-specific features

o Assessing GHG impact and energy consumption of ICT in organisations, the following aspects shall be addressed in accordance with the considered scopes:

  • ICT goods used by the organisation (e.g. PCs, flat screens listed in Annex A)
  • Support equipment for ICT goods used by the organisation (e.g. cooling and power supply equipment)
  • ICT associated consumables used by the organisation (e.g. ink cartridges, papers and DVDs)
  • Software and ICT services used by the organisation (e.g. software, telecommunication services)
  • Staff responsible for purchase, operation and maintenance of ICT goods, networks and services.

o For scope 3 GHG emissions, impact from all life cycle stages except the use stage should be divided by the operational life time to get the yearly impacts. 

o Cut-off principles described in ITU-T L.1410 are applicable to scope 3 categories.

Examples of implementation / experience feedback

o Alcatel Lucent experience with ITU-T L.1420

Interaction with other methodologies

o [ITU-T L.1400] Overview and general principles of methodologies for assessing the environmental impact of information and communication technologies

o [ITU-T L.1410] Methodology for environmental impact assessment of information and communication technology goods, networks and services

o [ISO 14064-1] Greenhouse gases - Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organisation level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals

o [PAS 2050] Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services

o [GHG Protocol] A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard

How do I use this methodology? Ask for support!


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