Driving sustainability in Telcos: CO2 emission reductions

August 1, 2022
According to Boston Consulting Group, the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) industry has slipped by, largely unnoticed, in terms of its environmental impact but is starting to gain attention, as the industry accounts for 3-4% of global CO2 emissions. This is especially evident as global data traffic is projected to increase 60% annually.


Within the ICT industry, telcos contribute 1.6% of global CO2 emissions.  Telco operators have an outsized ability to impact CO2 emissions either directly through their efforts, or indirectly through their supply chains and the other industries they support (which account for almost 90% of a telco’s carbon emissions).

Telco leaders are taking notice and increasing their focus on carbon reduction opportunities.  Major telcos have committed to energy reduction per unit of traffic by 70% by 2030 – an amount that would contribute to the ICT’s overall goal of driving a 15% reduction in ALL global emissions within the same time period.

While many impact areas for carbon emissions reduction involve elements that are harder to visualize, quantify or communicate, eliminating the smartphone SIM card is a great place to start.

SIM to eSIM transition

SIM cards were once the standard for every smartphone.  But increasingly operators are transitioning towards eSIM for flexibility and improved customer experience.  Through 2020 175 mobile carriers launched commercial eSIM services for smartphones across 69 countries.

While this move has largely been driven by business customers with multiple phone numbers on a single device, increasingly operators are coming to understand the environmental benefits that this change unlocks.

What is the environmental impact of a shift from a physical plastic SIM card into an eSIM world? The production of a single SIM card adds 5kg of CO2 to the environment.  With 4.35 billion SIM cards manufactured in 2021, over 560,000 tons of CO2 and 18,000 tons of plastic were produced.

This extensive SIM supply chain includes raw materials, transportation to the manufacturing facility, SIM manufacturing, transportation to the MNO warehouse, transportation again to the sales location/store, and finally, the customer must travel to the store to pick up the device with the physical SIM card to have it configured.  That goes away with eSIM.

triPica further reduces the carbon footprint when you shift the SIM to eSIM.  Beyond the physical SIM elimination, triPica leverages more carbon-optimized data processing systems like AWS (instead of an enterprise-based solution) to boost your carbon emission savings further.

  • 61% of carbon reduction due to using more efficient servers and increased server utilization
  • 11% of the reduction is attributable to more efficient data center facilities
  • 17% of savings come from lower electricity consumption and increased use of renewables

triPica’s full-stack is a proven solution that delivers extremely lean, optimized performance requiring minimal calculated power.

How triPica helped Bouygues launch its “Source” digital brand with a sustainable focus.

Bouygues reached out to triPica to help them develop their new brand, “Source,” an eco-friendly digital telco proposition.  Their goal was to launch a socially responsible, customer-empowered, 100% new digital brand that encourages “digital sobriety.”  This brand targets customers who want a socially responsible solution that works within their increasingly digital lifestyle.

Source helps its customers minimize their daily carbon footprint by giving them full transparency as to their data consumption, including the mix between cellular and Wi-Fi.  Customers can convert each unconsumed gigabit of data into “waterdrops” contributions towards NGOs that drive social and environmentally-friendly initiatives.

triPica’s platform solution was to create a breakthrough, “telco in an app.”

Real-time, paperless, intuitive sign-up, contract management, billing and timely customer support are the norm today. triPica developed a solution that integrated with multiple external systems, providing a seamless end-to-end digital experience to telco users as well as a 360-view of the customers to the supporting agents.

“triPica quickly grasped our vision for customer empowerment and was able to transform it into an innovative customer-centric solution, seamlessly integrated with our network and developed in under 5 months.” – Stéphane Allaire Chief Innovation at Bouygues Telecom.

The innovative solution addressed each key requirement of Bouygues Telecom while utilizing triPica’s vast expertise in pulling all the technical elements together quickly and seamlessly.

  • Leveraged triPica’s telecom expertise, market research, and best practices to deliver a test model within 8 weeks from the initial idea (something that would typically take months of development).
  • Integrated with Lilo, a green search engine, to enable conversion of unconsumed gigabit data into “waterdrops” contributions towards NGOs.
  • Incorporated a greenfield blueprint (covering functionality from front-end customer experience to full BSS platform with easy network integration) to deliver a production-ready system in under 5 months.
  • Utilized its partner arrangements to develop eKYC integration that enabled user verification identity checks within seconds, directly from their mobile app.
  • Used a SaaS Cloud-based platform to deploy a fresh instance in just hours, ready for integration into the operator`s network, while ensuring maximum security.
  • Smoothly integrated into Bouygues’ existing technology stack.
  • Developed quickly and efficiently using Agile processes. Skipping traditional Tier 1 processes by going via Bouygues’ MVNE access was a true differentiator in ensuring speed and quality.
  • Implemented a story-telling design approach with UX design managed centrally by triPica, but in close collaboration with Bouygues’ brand and marketing teams. Multiple workshops were held to go over 170 screens, focusing on the user journey using a friendly tone – from the telco user’s point of view.

The collaboration of Bouygues Telecom with triPica resulted in an innovative self-service 100% digital journey for their users and accomplished Bouygues’ core objectives of: Eco-awareness (via education and data consumption transparency); Eco-acting (facilitating donations of non-consumed gigabits to NGOs); and Eco-technology (SaaS-based lean platform based on TM Forum standards).

Telco technology is evolving at light speed.  Sustainability, green initiatives, and carbon emissions reductions are now possible with shifts from plastic SIM cards towards eSIM solutions as well as increasingly energy-optimized cloud processing options.  triPica is at the forefront of these innovations.

Come join us in September at TM Forum’s DTW (Digital Transformation World) in Copenhagen where triPica has been nominated for the 2022 Excellence Award in the Sustainability category based on our customer education approach created for Bouygues Telecom.  We are also hosting an exhibition booth showcasing our SaaS solution that helps telcos quickly scale up a fully digital customer experience and reduce their carbon footprint in the process.

Book an appointment to meet with us during the event.


triPica, a rewarded innovation leader, enables our service providers worldwide in the Telco and the Utility industries to launch their digital strategy with the agility of a startup. Benefiting from our digital and secure SaaS BSS solution - from self-care online subscription to product and customer management - the customers are able to give autonomy and transparency to their users that the market today demands. triPica was established in 2016 and today serves customers globally in the Telecom and the Utility industries.