The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has approved a new environmentally friendly standard for a “universal” charger for laptops and other portable devices.
The new international standard – officially known as Recommendation ITU-T L.1002 “External universal power adapter solutions for portable ICT devices” – was developed by the ITU standardisation expert group for ICTs, the environment and climate change, ITU-T Study Group 5.
According to ITU, one million tonnes of external power supplies are manufactured each year. ITU-T L.1002 specifies principles for the eco-design of laptop chargers to reduce no-load power consumption five times lower than the norm. When multiplied by the millions of such chargers in use this will greatly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced by these devices.
The applicability of the charger to multiple devices, as well as design principles for the efficient use of raw materials, will greatly increase their lifetime and reduce the e-waste resulting from their disposal, ITU says.
ITU-T L.1002 builds on ITU standards providing universal chargers for handheld devices such as mobile phones (ITU-T L.1000) and stationary devices such as xDSL modems (ITU-T L.1000) first adopted by ITU members in 2009 and 2012, respectively.
Commenting on the new standard, Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General says that “e-waste has grown into a significant challenge to environmental sustainability. The L.1000 series of standards will contribute to the achievement of the targets set out by Goal 12 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns.”
Ahmed Zeddam, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 5 also explains: “The ITU-T L.1000 series of standards will assist in meeting the e-waste target of the Connect 2020 Agenda, a shared vision for the sustainable development of the ICT sector adopted by ITU Member States in 2014. This agenda includes the commitment of the ITU membership to reduce the volume of redundant e-waste by 50 per cent by 2020.”
ITU-T’s work on e-waste is driven by Resolution 79 adopted by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (Dubai, 2012). Resolution 79 calls on ITU-T Study Group 5 to develop international standards, methodologies and other publications relevant to the reduction and responsible management of e-waste.