Our impact

How great is the impact of the technology industry on people and the planet? What contribution do we make to society? The indicators of our baseline measurement are set out below. They provide a picture of where we stand with our sector at this time. We will supplement these indicators further in the coming years, so that we can offer our stakeholders a complete and transparent picture of the sector.

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Total energy consumption and energy intensity

The total energy consumption of the technology sector decreased by an average of 1.1% each year in the period 2008-2019. In the same period, the added value of the technology industry grew by 16%. As a result, energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of added value) decreased on average by 2.4% per year. We can deduce from this that economic growth in the technology industry has been decoupled from energy consumption over the past decade: the growth of our sector did not lead to increased energy consumption. 

For Belgium, the Fit for 55 targets are a 0.9% annual reduction in final energy consumption (period until 2030) and a 1.5% annual reduction in energy intensity. If we take the current trend in the technology industry into account, the total energy consumption and energy intensity of the technology industry are thus in line with Fit for 55.

Natural gas consumption per unit of product decreased by 20% in the period 2008-2019; electricity consumption decreased by 29%. On the other hand, the consumption of transport fuels increased by 38.5% in the same period, which is mainly due to the consumption of payroll vehicles in our sector. Due to the disappearance of the tax benefit for non-electric payroll cars, companies will review their car policy in the coming years and propose alternatives to the payroll car to their employees. We therefore expect that the consumption of transport fuels in our sector will decrease significantly in the coming years. We can also further increase our energy efficiency by renovating our buildings more and more.

The energy consumption of the digital industry has not yet been fully mapped out. The ongoing study within the framework of Digital4Climate will try to provide an answer to this. In that study, we examine the net impact of digital technologies on Belgium's carbon footprint. This study will also take into account the reduction of the footprint of, for example, the construction sector thanks to digital innovations (such as the heat pump and the smart thermostat). 

Total energy consumption and energy intensity in the technology industry; 2008 = 100

Sources: Physical energy flow accounts (Bureau du Plan [Planning Office]); energy consumption statistics (Statbel); Belgian greenhouse gas inventory, CRF tables (Eionet Central Data Repository); VITO [Flemish Institute for Technological Research] data; Agoria calculations

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