Access Alert | Subscriber Carbon Costs Now Included in French Telecom Charges

Access Alert | Subscriber Carbon Costs Now Included in French Telecom Charges

The impact of the deployment of electronic communications networks, mass production of terminals, operation of data centres and ever-expanding data consumption on the environment is increasingly a subject of growing attention. It is estimated that digital activities now represent 3 to 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.[1]

With this number expected to increase in the coming years, France has passed new legislation aimed at incentivising users to become more cautious about their digital consumption thus raising awareness that access to digital services requires significant material and energy sources.

Since 1 January 2022, French telecom operators are obliged to indicate the carbon footprint of their subscribers on the invoices they issue.[2]

Telecom operators must present their subscribers with the following:

  • the type of subscription: fixed internet or mobile Internet;
  • the volume of data consumed and recorded by the operator: in gigabytes, rounded to the unit, and, where applicable, accompanied by the words “estimated data”;
  • the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the subscriber’s data consumption: gram equivalent CO2, rounded to the unit;
  • the summary of the calculation methods used.

The decree further provides that this information can be accompanied by a graphic representation and can also be found in the personal space of each subscriber and must be updated on a monthly basis.

The decree does not elaborate on the methodology applied to perform these calculations, but refers to the criteria established by the Ecological Transition Agency (ADEME), which falls under the French Ministry of Ecology.[3]

If you are interested in learning more about regulatory requirements applicable to French telecom operators contact Chrystel Erotokritou, Compliance Manager, Access Partnership

 

[1] ARCEP Progress Report – Summary of the Work Platform and ARCEP Proposals for Sustainable Digital Technology, December 2020.

[2] Decree n ° 2021-1732 of 21 December 2021 Relating to the Methods of Information on the Quantity of Data Consumed Within the Framework of the Provision of Access to the Network and its Equivalent in Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

[3] Ecological Transition Agency – Environmental Labelling in the Digital Sector.

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