Aqua Comms has today announced the commencement of a partnership with the Sustainable Subsea Networks Initiative of the SubOptic Foundation with the parties working together to explore the future for renewable energy in the subsea cable network.

The Sustainable Subsea Networks research project, (sustainablesubseanetworks.com) is investigating the sustainability of the global subsea telecommunications network that transports almost 100% of transoceanic internet traffic. The initiative involves exploring strategies, including the development of renewable power, the move toward a net-zero subsea system as well as looking at innovative approaches to system sustainability. This emerges from the company’s and research team’s shared commitment to building sustainable digital infrastructure.

Nigel Bayliff, CEO of Aqua Comms commented “When we were asked to participate in this initiative we saw it as a great opportunity to support our ongoing commitment to incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance at the core of our values and strategy.  The pandemic emphasized how important global communications are in enabling people to connect virtually for social, business and access to essential services, while reducing the need for unnecessary travel; it’s important that we understand the impact of our operations on the environment and strive to minimise this now and for future generations, to ensure digital connectivity can grow in a low carbon economy.  I look forward to seeing the results of the study.”

The project team is composed of academic and industry partners, and works with companies from across the industry’s sectors from supply to recycling. The team is currently developing a scalable feasibility model that synthesizes economic, technical, and social dimensions to facilitate renewable energy deployment.

Hunter Vaughan, Senior Research Associate at the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, University of Cambridge says: “We are excited to work with forward-thinking industry partners such as Aqua Comms to build future subsea infrastructure that mitigate the environmental cost of our digital life and is oriented toward local social values.”

A final report on sustainability work occurring across the industry, will be available in 2023.