It is estimated that the Internet consumes up to one trillion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, amounting to around 5 per cent of the world’s total electricity consumption. More than half of this figure comes from PCs, laptops and screens, but data centres are also a major contributor. Although it is difficult to be precise, it is clear that this figure is growing, especially as Internet use expands in the developing world. More efficient energy use can reduce these numbers significantly, but there is a need to raise user awareness.

Furthermore, a globally-connected, broadband Internet can generate savings in terms of encouraging flexible work patterns, travel substitution and supply-chain optimization.