A Roadmap to Facilitate Collaboration towards Sustainable Digital Infrastructure by 2030

The Alliance’s purpose is focused on enabling collaboration across the boundaries of a single industry. Our members, advisors, partners and stakeholders are committed to creating sustainable digital infrastructure. Everyone has contributed to help define what a digital economy should look like that is sustainable, for people, environment and business alike. And together, we defined the activities that help us create the infrastructure that will power the digital realm. These activities make up the Roadmap towards Sustainable Digital Infrastructure by 2030. 

To the Alliance, The Roadmap represents: 

  1. A central plan, technology- & vendor-neutral, which fosters collaboration across all industries that contribute to the value chain through clearly defined activities.
  2. A clear commitment and communication for everyone who is contributing to the Alliance and chooses to become a member.
  3. Established & committed metrics which create transparency on progress towards the environmental, economic, and social sustainability targets for all industries that make up digital infrastructure.

The Roadmap represents action-oriented activities that consider the state of many industries as well as the current targets for change. Each activity acts as a platform for industry to collaborate within Steering Groups, identifying challenges and defining best practices. Further each activity is host to initiatives, joint-undertakings of organizations to propel progress.

The Roadmap represents the State of Sustainability.

To create a sustainable future we must assess the present. The Roadmap kicks off with a set of activities that are the steps to build momentum.

  • Activities focus on different aspects of the digital infrastructure value chain. These central pieces of the plan are the platforms on which steering groups and initiatives are built, rallying industry-representing organizations around a common topic and measurable outcomes. The activities are organized on a timeline, prioritizing their completion until 2030.
  • Assessments of sustainability metrics indicate the actual impact of digital infrastructure on environmental, social, and economic aspects and are evaluated on an annual basis as activities progress.

How the Roadmap delivers progress towards Sustainable Digital Infrastructure

The progress on each activity is contributed by the members of the Alliance, organized in steering groups and Initiatives. These address market barriers, create alignment on technologies and solutions and execute business opportunities together.

  • Steering groups are formed by members of the Alliance to discuss and advise on specific approaches to address an activity and reach its targets. Each group identifies current challenges in the implementation of technologies, solutions or business models that could deliver measurable progress towards the goal of the activity. The staff and national innovation labs of the Alliance subsequently support the execution.
  • Status updates and relevant information will be provided for ongoing initiatives, projects, and planned actions for transparency and further collaboration.
  • Statements and publications with connected papers and results will be made available to offer collective insights.

A Clear Yet Flexible Plan

The roadmap represents the commitment of the Alliance toward sustainable digital infrastructure. 21 planned activities until 2030 address the entire value chain and cover all large sources of emissions, energy, and resource consumption as well increasing socioeconomic costs. 

While these activities represent large building blocks that need to be visited along the way, the solutions that each organization & industry needs to implement to reach our committed sustainability targets differ. There is no one size fits all, and the Alliance remains open to different technologies, solutions and business models while also anticipating differences between different geographical locations and applications. 

For the Alliance and its member organizations, the roadmap is a North Star, a clear set of activities, metrics and targets that have to be solved by 2030. The steering groups ensure that the plan always represents the challenges of each industry and that we collaborate across boundaries to find the common barriers and solutions.

Along this journey towards sustainability, the roadmap will provide updates, transparent reporting, accountability and a clear indication of progress - setting the stage for inter-industry collaboration.

Measurement Yields Management

Our definition of sustainability for digital infrastructure, is based on an objective set of metrics, that transcend a single industry:

  • Energy Consumption in TWh/a
  • GHG emissions in CO2-eq/a
  • Electronic Waste in Mt
  • Resource Consumption in ADP
  • Pollutants in (tbd)
  • Socio Economic (Costs of Digital Power) in (tbd)

The aim of the roadmap is to enable collaboration on activities which address the sources of the impact created by digital infrastructure and bring each of these metrics close to zero.

To measure progress on these metrics, one of our most important steering groups has been launched early on - creating a Digital Carbon Footprint. With the ability to measure progress, on the Roadmap and each activity, we can continuously improve our actions and make sustainable digital infrastructure a reality.

Collaboration: The Heart of the Roadmap

Planning and measuring are only as valuable as a community’s ability to bring actions to life. Teamwork is pivotal to the Roadmap’s success, which is why we form steering groups. Activity-based teams align directly with the Roadmap and bring together relevant stakeholders from different backgrounds and industries. 

The steering groups are dedicated to an activity and help shape technology & solution choices, trigger research and identify market barriers. The responsibility of each group is to identify barriers or challenges in the implementation of solutions which deliver measurable progress towards the sustainability metrics.

Learn more about how to engage in the Roadmap and participate in the steering groups here.