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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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MWC: environmental awareness makes room at the Mobile World Congress

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The climate emergency is pressing and the technology sector has its share of responsibility, both for its ability to contribute to mitigating it and for its polluting emissions, and for this reason the ecological transition has made a name for itself at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Spain).

Together with virtual reality, 5G or the metaverses, the environment and sustainability have made their way, more or less timidly, at the 2022 MWC with the presentation of multiple initiatives and technological solutions aimed at warning of the impact of our carbon footprint and help combat climate change.

It is estimated that the technology industry is responsible for between 3.5% and 4% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, ranking above sectors such as air transport, and that the Information Technology sector and Communication (ICT) is currently responsible for 10% of the total electricity consumption in the European Union and 4% of its CO2 emissions.

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Likewise, it is predicted that Artificial Intelligence could consume a tenth of the world’s electricity in 2025.

One of the companies that has championed the climate commitment during the mobile congress has been the operator Vodafonewhich under the motto “Digital for Green” has presented at its stand -presided over by a vertical garden of 48 m2- up to 10 demonstrations based on key network technologies for the green transition.

Among them, stands out the “smart forest” that the operator has created in Romania together with a start-up company to prevent illegal logging.

The solution, which has been applied in an extensive forest in the Romanian Carpathians that only has two forest guards to monitor it, is based on sensors connected to the internet that are installed in the trees and are capable of detecting and alerting poachers.

Powered by solar energy and geolocated, the sensor has a microphone with a range of one kilometer and, thanks to Artificial Intelligence, is capable of detecting abnormal noises, such as that of a car or a mechanical saw, and alerting the ranger to move to the spot.

To raise awareness about the carbon footprint generated by the Mobile congress attendees themselves, the Spanish company Sygris has installed a space where attendees can calculate the carbon impact they generate and, through the Tribaldata mobile application, have the opportunity to offset it by planting a free tree.

For its part, Atos has presented its mobile application Terra2, aimed at governments and public agencies, which offers quick access to environmental and scientific information to help in decision-making in the fight against climate change.

Also in the fight to reduce CO2 emissions, Fujitsu has announced that it has successfully developed a new virtualized radio access network (vRAN) technology – the part of the telecommunications system that connects individual devices to the global network – with 5G support that would enable global system CO2 emissions to be reduced by 50% or more compared to conventional base station systems by 2025.

The Finnish Nokia has gone further and has presented a new base station cooled with water, instead of air, which allows to reduce up to 90% the energy consumption of the cooling system and 80% CO2 emissions, to while the hot water generated in the process can be reused in the heating systems of the buildings where it is located.

To promote the circular economy, Telefónica and Éxxita Be Circular, a Spanish company dedicated to repairing and extending the useful life of technological devices, have joined forces to launch the ‘European Green Passport’, based on ‘blockchain’ technology. , which guarantees complete traceability and reliable and verifiable information on the durability of second-hand terminals.

The ‘blockchain’ is also the technology used by the emerging company Vidris, the winner of the “Hack The Planet” initiative organized by the Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCapital), which has devised a digital passport that rewards consumers for purchasing of sustainable products, helping green companies to generate brand value.

Beyond the specific solutions presented, and at the risk of greenwashing, throughout the congress many companies have reiterated their commitment to achieving climate neutrality in the short or medium term, demonstrating that the ecological transition is not a question of the future, but of the present.

Source: Gestion

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