GHG Telecommunications Network Services (TNS) Factsheet

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Please note that the factsheet below was developed based on a draft version of the GHG Protocol ICT Sector Guidance. The factsheet will be soon updated based on the final version of the Guidance (published in July 2017) to integrate any changes.

GHG Protocol Product Standard - Telecommunications Network Services (TNS)
Name of Initiative/Methodology

GHG Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard ICT Sector Guidance – Chapter 2 – Guide for assessing GHG emissions of Telecommunications Network Services

Link to the latest published version

GHG Protocol ICT Sector Guidance (01/2013): Draft version 3.4

Developed by

Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative
History and Status
  • Work started in 2011
  • Issued as a draft for public comment in January 2013
Involved companies / parties
  • Convening Secretariat: WRI, WBCSD, GeSI, Carbon Trust

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
  • Telecommunications Network Services. The services comprise ICT goods, including:
  • Service provider equipment (e.g. routers, mobile transmitters, servers)

  • Support equipment such as cabling and racking

  • Customer premise equipment (CPE) such as telephones, computers and videoconferencing systems as well as equipment deployed on the customer‘s premises

  • Operational (people-related) activities associated with telecoms network services such as installation, maintenance and customer service

  • Providing supporting data for identification of a life cycle stage, subassembly or process that have significant GHG emissions (hot spot)
  • Assessing energy use and GHG emissions of a TNS
  • Prioritising reduction efforts across the product life cycle (from a service provider or user perspective)
Generic features
  • All stages other than the use stage may be grouped together (embodied emissions)
  • Critical review by a first or third party is required
  • Offsets, avoided and delayed emissions are not to be included in the inventory results
  • Functional unit:
    • For all final products, the unit of analysis is defined as a functional unit

    • For intermediate products where the eventual function is unknown, the unit of analysis is defined as the reference flow

  • Cradle-to-gate and gate-to-gate inventory results should be reported separately (if not limited by confidentiality)
  • Companies shall disclose and justify any exclusions of attributable processes in the inventory report
  • Companies shall collect primary data for all processes under their ownership / control
  • Companies shall assess the data quality of activity data, emission factors, and/or direct emissions data
ICT-specific features
  • The scope and the function of the service being assessed shall be clearly described, focusing on the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the function
  • Examples of functional units are provided:
    • One minute of use (e.g. phone call)

    • One Megabyte of data transferred

    • Service Contract life (e.g. three years)

    • Annual usage (i.e. one year)

  • TNS are subdivided into 3 elements, that can be individually assessed:
    • Customer Domain: All ICT equipment and support equipment (e.g. cabling) that is part of the TNS and is deployed at the customer‘s premises – end-user equipment is not part of the scope

    • Service Platform: All ICT equipment and support equipment used by the TNS provider in delivering the service being assessed

    • Operational Activities: Any people (labour) activities and non-ICT support equipment that are directly engaged and dedicated to the assessed TNS

    • Refer to [ETSI 103 199] for allocation guidance specific to ICT

Examples of implementation / experience feedback

None identified – to be filled later

Interaction with other methodologies
  • [IEC TR 62725] Analysis of quantification methodologies of greenhouse gas emissions for electrical and electronic products and systems
  • [IEC 62430] Environmentally conscious design for electrical and electronic products
  • [IEC 62474] Material declaration for products of and for the electrotechnical industry
  • [IEC 62623] Desktop and notebook computers - Measurement of energy consumption
  • [IEC TR 62635] Guidelines for end-of-life information provided by manufacturers and recyclers and for recyclability rate calculation of electrical and electronic equipment
  • [ISO 14064-1] Greenhouse gases - Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals
  • [ISO/TS 14067] Greenhouse gases -- Carbon footprint of products -- Requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication
  • [ISO 14040] Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework
  • [ISO 14044] Environmental management - Life cycle assessment – Requirements and guidelines
  • [GHG Protocol] Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard
  • [ETSI TS 103 199] Environmental Engineering (EE); Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ICT equipment, networks and services; General methodology and common requirements
  • [ITU-T L.1410] Methodology for environmental life cycle assessments of information and communication technology goods, networks and services
  • [EU Energy Star]

How do I use this methodology? Ask for support!

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