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Towards a Sustainable Internet

Given its rapidly growing greenhouse gas footprint, the Internet must become more sustainable. On the one hand, our everyday life increasingly depends on access to the Internet also for essential services such as work, education, health-care etc. On the other hand, the Internet is responsible for 8.7% of the CO2 annual global emissions

Across the different value chains, from the production processes to the storing of data and the energy required to power them, the carbon footprint of the Internet is a substantial source of pollution. This calls for immediate action.

Responsible production and consumption of digital technologies are at the heart of Europe’s twin green and digital transition. In particular, the Next Generation Internet initiative launched about 5 years ago by the European Commission envisions a human-centric Next Generation Internet that is trustworthy, open, inclusive and sustainable. 

A related major challenge is that the Internet is a complex and very articulated context and its environmental impact is not limited to the energy requirements to run it (how much power servers, data centres, and products need). Making the Internet more sustainable also relates to the devices used to access the web, as well as produced content and other data flows. This requires tackling the Internet sustainability problem from different angles: technological, political, economical, societal, regulatory, etc.

Towards a Sustainable Internet

Working Group

The Digital for Planet Towards a Sustainable Internet Working Group supports the assessment of the overall environmental footprint of the Internet, matching a human-centric approach with sustainability.


Digital for Planet Working Group_Connect

Analysing, connecting, and participating in programs to study, measure, and attribute carbon and environmental footprint to specific layers, technologies, and nodes of the current internet and of its possible future evolutions.

Digital for Planet Working Group_Investigate

Discussing, investigating, and evaluating synergies, conflicts, and trade-offs between decentralised, human-centric, trustworthy internet architectures and sustainable, circular, and carbon-neutral technologies.

Digital for Planet Working Group_Study

Studying and constructing initial views of the structure and interaction among business models, ethical frameworks, and technical approaches for a human-centric and sustainable internet.

Digital for Planet Working Group_Develop

Identifying and studying policy-driven and regulatory frameworks for sustainable internet development and usage, aiming to create liaisons with relevant stakeholders.

Why join the Towards a Sustainable Internet Working Group:

  • Promote sustainability and resiliency at the core of the Next-Generation Internet.
  • Discuss and develop new proposal ideas and projects to advance the study and assessment of the environmental footprint of the Internet.
  • Accelerate research and innovation priorities of EU policies. 
  • Get the latest information on available EU funding opportunities. 
  • Extend your scientific network and build quality partnerships with experts and stakeholders from key disciplines and initiatives.
  • Promote your outcomes, technologies, and know-how.

Who can participate?

Any representatives from organisations that are part of the Digital for Planet community who is committed to promoting the sustainable Internet of tomorrow. 

Interested in contributing to this Working Group?  Become a member of Digital for Planet and get involved!

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