The Internet and Environmental Impact:
3 Ways Cable ISPs Are Prioritizing Sustainability

energy efficient internet equipment

This is not a drill: we’re facing a profound climate crisis.

And while you might not think “internet” and “environmental impact” go hand-in-hand, cable internet service providers (ISPs) are working to mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

Carbon Neutral by 2035 

Cable ISPs – including Charter, Comcast, and Cox – have made a major commitment: carbon neutral by 2035.

Why it matters: Delivering high-speed internet, TV, mobile, and voice services requires energy to power its networks. Finding efficiencies in their networks and operations is vital to reducing CO2 emissions.

To reach carbon neutrality, cable ISPs are investing in sustainability and conservation projects – everything from developing energy-efficient technologies to sourcing renewable and clean energy.

Zoom in: For Comcast, reaching carbon neutrality will mean eliminating or offsetting 500,000 passenger cars-worth of CO2 emissions – that’s 2 million tons. And they’re well on their way, reducing their greenhouse gases by 19% between 2020 and 2021. Here’s how they did it. 

Energy Efficiency Is Key

More and more Americans are using connected devices that consume energy in the home. That’s why cable ISPs have voluntarily agreed to make home internet equipment and TV boxes more energy efficient, ultimately reducing CO2 emissions.

And these green initiatives are having a moment. According to 2021 annual reports:

  • More than 98% of new modems, routers, and other internet equipment met targeted energy efficiency levels.
  • Broadband speeds sped up by 27% in 2021, but energy use held steady.
  • Energy-efficient set-top boxes eliminated 64 million metric tons of CO2 emissions over the past nine years.

A BONUS? Energy efficiency improvements made to TV boxes in 2021 saved American households $2.5 billion in energy costs.

Less Fuel, Fewer CO2 Emissions

Another major contributor to CO2 emissions? Transportation.

That’s why cable ISPs are investing in electric and fuel-efficient vehicles to further reduce their carbon footprint.

  • In 2020, Cox purchased 73 electric and hybrid vehicles, saving a total of 16,000 gallons of gas and preventing the release of 186 tons of CO2 emissions.
  • Midco takes strategic steps to avoid using more of its trucks on the road.
  • Comcast is piloting the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, working with drivers to reduce idle time, and installing fuel efficient technologies.

Bottom line: It will take all of us working together to create a more livable, prosperous, and connected future – and cable ISPs are committed to doing their part.

To learn more about how the broadband industry is helping American consumers go green, read our related blog post here.