European Standards on ICT equipment Lifecycle Resource Management

By George Babinov, SBS expert.

Among its Horizon 2020 objectives, the European Union aims at reducing the energy consumption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by 20%. As a contribution to those efforts, a number of product specific regulations imposing minimum values for the energy efficiency of products through their whole life cycle are being adopted by the European Commission.

In 2015 the Commission expressed the wish to extend the energy efficiency approach from the use phase of products to their end of life (EoL) and to regulate aspects such as durability, recyclability and reparability. To enable manufacturers’ possibility to check compliance of their products with these future requirements on a level-playing field, obviously harmonized references are needed. [1]

Equipment life cycle and end of life are directly related to electronic waste or e-waste. Although there is no internationally agreed definition of e-waste, in general it describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal are also considered e-waste.

One of the problems encountered by countries in managing e-waste is its dispersion. Dispersed waste refers to EoL equipment that is not being managed by the official system neither by the informal channel. It constitutes an almost physiological fraction of e-waste generated in every country, industrialized and developing, and represents an economic and environmental cost. [2]

In response to the new requirements ETSI technical committee on Access, Terminals, Transmission and Multiplexing (ATTM) started the development of a multi-part deliverable European Standard EN 305 174 series: Broadband Deployment and Lifecycle Resource Management. The final aim is the publication of the following standards:

  • EN 305 174-1: Overview, common and generic aspects;
  • EN 305 174-2: ICT sites;
  • EN 305 174-3: Core networks;
  • EN 305 174-4: Access networks:
    • Subpart 1: Fixed access networks;
    • Subpart 2 :Mobile access networks;
  • EN 305 174-5: Customer network infrastructures:
    • Subpart 1: Homes (single-tenant);
    • Subpart 2: Office premises (single-tenant);
    • Subpart 4: Multi-tenant premises (residential and commercial);
  • EN 305 174-6: Cable access networks;
  • EN 305 174-7: Sustainable Digital Multiservice (“Smart”) Cities;
  • EN 305 174-8: Management of end-of-life of ICT equipment (ICT waste / end of life).

During 2016 four of the above standards were initiated as new work items in ATTM, and actually the first drafts of EN 305 174-1EN 305 174-2EN 305 174-5-1 and EN 305 174-8 are available for discussion. The objective of ETSI is to complete these harmonised standards by the end of 2017/Q1 2018. [3]

For the remaining deliverables a Specialist Task Force (STF) will be established in order to complete the European standards listed as high priority in CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Phase 2 report in relation to Mandate M/462 of the European Commission.

References:

[1]   CEN/CENELEC Brief News, 2016. CEN/CENELEC Brief News

[2]   Ahmed Zeddam, “E-waste: from an e-challenge to an e-opportunity”, ITU-T Presntation

[3]   ETSI ATTM Work Programme, ETSI ATTM Work Programme