Preparations of the climate and environmental strategy for the ICT sector starting

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 1.11.2019 14.24
Press release
Masts. (Image: Jarno Holappa / Shutterstock)
Masts. (Image: Jarno Holappa / Shutterstock)

Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin has appointed a working group to prepare a climate and environmental strategy for the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. The term of the working group will be from 1 November 2019 to 30 November 2020. The aim is to form a common view on the climate and environmental impacts of the sector in Finland and recommend measures to control them.

"Energy efficiency and clean solutions are essential in reducing the carbon footprint of the ICT sector. Digitalisation provides opportunities for achieving emissions reductions in other sectors as well, such as transport. This new working group will increase the understanding of the environmental and climate impacts of the ICT sector and will propose necessary measures to reduce the emissions," says Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin.

Even though the ICT sector has seen a strong growth, its greenhouse gas emissions and materials consumption have not received as much attention as some other sectors. Environmental effects are generated by data centres, communications networks, end devices and use of services, for example. In 2030, more than a fifth of the world's total energy consumption is expected to be taken up by the ICT sector. In Finland, the use of mobile data has multiplied in the past few years. 

The task of the working group is to assess the trend of the greenhouse gas emissions in the ICT sector and their environmental impacts in Finland. The group will examine the measures used in other countries to reduce harmful climate and environmental impacts. It will assess the role of the ICT sector in the efforts to achieve Finland's climate goals and how investments in this sector could promote the attainment of the goals in other sectors. The working group will submit a report containing proposals for measures. It will also assess the societal effects of the measures.

The group will be chaired by Päivi Antikainen, Director of Climate and Environment Unit at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The group has representatives from companies, research institutes, NGOs and public administration, including

Aalto University, ABB Oy, CSC -  IT Center for Science Ltd, Digita Oy, DNA Oyj, Elisa, Finnish Energy, Energy Authority, Finnish Federation for Communications and Teleinformatics (FiCom), Finnet Association, Oy IBM Finland Ab, Consumers' Union of Finland, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Transport and Communications Agency (TrafiCom), Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, Neogames Finland, Finnish Software and E-business Association, Nokia Oyj, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation, Technology Industries of Finland, Telia, Tieto Corporation, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Finance, TVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) and Ministry of the Environment. If necessary, other members may be invited to the working group during its term of office.

Representatives from WWF and Google were also invited to participate in the work.

What next?

The first meeting of the working group will be in November. The group will hear experts and stakeholders. It will issue an interim report in June 2020 and the final report in November 2020. 


Pirita Ruokonen, Special Adviser to Minister Marin, tel. +358 50 911 3099
Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, tel +358 50 382 7101
Tuuli Ojala, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 563 8130
[email protected]