Digitalization and natural resources

Toni Eerola (Editor), Pasi Eilu (Editor), Jyri Hanski, Susanna Horn, Jachym Judl, Marjaana Karhu, Päivi Kivikytö-Reponen, Panu Lintinen, Bo Långbacka

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The report focuses on the mineral natural resources needed for digitalization. The use of digital applications and digital devices continues to grow and increasing amounts of information are being converted into a digital format. Prior research on digitalization in the context of sustainability has focused mainly on energy consumption and emissions. However, with the increasing demand for ICT hardware in numerous applications in modern society, the raw materials requirement of digital devices has become a crucial sustainability issue. Therefore, this report delves deeper into the topic of the raw materials consumption of digitalization.

We focus on the following challenges and topics:
• Sources, production, availability and sustainability of digitalization raw materials
• ICT sector’s raw materials consumption, with a specific focus on selected key
end-user devices: smartphones and smart TVs
• Key aspects of the ICT value chain
• Key ICT consumer and end-user aspects
• Possible solutions to support the sustainability of digital devices throughout their life cycle
• Key policy aspects and recommendations
Original languageEnglish
PublisherGeological Survey of Finland
Number of pages95
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesOpen File Research Report


  • digitalisation
  • raw materials
  • metals
  • minerals
  • mining
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • corporate social responsibility
  • environmental impacts
  • ICT
  • mobile phones
  • smart TVs
  • recycling
  • circular economy
  • refurbishing


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