A joint IET/Broadband TV News/Media Meet & Greet session Thursday discussed how the TV sector can play its part.
James Robottom, Sustainability and Climate Change lead at the IET, said that unlike governments, engineers have the ability to look to the long-term. “That’s looking at every stage of it from a manufactured product’s life, looking at the energy, the materials, even to the level of travel undertaken. We want to see more industries and engineering firms take decarbonisation as a core priority across that manufactured lifecycle.”
Robottom explained that the UK’s Climate Change Committee was looking to be carbon net zero by 2050, with a recent secondary target put in place for the UK to reduce its emissions compared to 1990 levels to 78% by 2035. The EU is looking at 55% by 2030.
“That really starts to affect industries like the TV and the broadcast industry, because a long term target like 2050 is quite well understood by what I would call direct industries. So energy transport areas where renewables, for example, have been growing for years and years and years, well understand the challenge ahead of them.
“Clearly for broadcast the media, you are a huge consumer of energy that is probably your principal carbon emissions. So if you are an indirect industry, it can seem harder to understand how you go about things. And so the 2030 target really does bring it into sharper focus, which has been really useful.”
Robottom called on broadcasters to use their ability to influence the public though the products and services they provide, pointing to the success of Sir David Attenborough’s intervention over the impact of plastics on our oceans.
For Deutsche Telekom, head of product delivery Augusto Silva said it was important to look at the lifecycle of the products that were being brought to market, and highlighting the importance for operators to work with OEMs, given that the operator was neither the first or last part of the chain.
“The relationship with the OEM is about the way that they are also a part of the ecosystem in producing and generating materials at multiple levels and even having a shortage. The shortage of components that we’re speaking about also somehow also helps us rationalise a little bit about what we have as a planet, in the components that are behind our consumer electronic equipment”.
Deutsche Telekom, said Silva, was heavily involved in the refurbishment process because it created two points of value, reducing both the cost of transportation and new components. But there were other discussions to be had such as the replacement of batteries and cables connected to the consumer device and reducing truck rolls where the operator found itself travelling to replace equipment that wasn’t faulty in the first place.
Both speakers touched on the delivery of streaming video and getting better usage by only delivering the video quality suitable for the device on which it was being received. “That has actually come up in the Covid scenarios, where we had many operators certainly in the US side, because of concerns about possible breaking the Internet, from the streaming of Netflix, and instituting reductions in quality on video delivery so to use less Internet, less bitrate. And that was done, obviously, for the protection of the networks, but it was trying to manage giving people the same quality or similar quality, both at the same time still providing a service. And is that something which we think is a viable approach to the future? Because at the end of the day, we are trying to make the customer experience better.”
Silva said thought should be given in the encoding to whether the industry’s drive to always produce the best was fully necessary. It was he said as much a social responsibility question as a customer experience question.