Reduce your digital footprint - Trends-Tendances sur PC

Good use of electronics: reduce your digital footprint – Companies

The impact of electrical appliances on companies’ energy consumption and CO2 emissions is considerable. How to reduce their ecological footprint?

The amount of e-waste has grown three times faster than the world’s population over the past five years. According to the E-waste Monitor, the mountains of waste in the world grew from 44.7 million tons in 2016 to 53 million tons in 2019 and should reach 74 million tons by 2033. Olivier Vergeynst, the director of the Belgian Institute for Responsible Digital Technology (Isit), cites three main reasons: the increased use of electrical and electronic devices, the reduction in lifespan and the reduction in possible repairs.

The amount of e-waste has grown three times faster than the world’s population over the past five years. According to the E-waste Monitor, the mountains of waste in the world grew from 44.7 million tons in 2016 to 53 million tons in 2019 and should reach 74 million tons by 2033. Olivier Vergeynst, the director of the Belgian Institute for Responsible Digital Technology (Isit), cites three main reasons: the increased use of electrical and electronic devices, the reduction in lifespan and the reduction in possible repairs. Even if the 100% circular economy is not yet on the agenda in the IT sector, several initiatives nevertheless make it possible to significantly reduce your impact on the environment, assures Olivier Vergeynst. “It all starts with a reasoned management of purchases and electronic waste. Regular maintenance and repair of devices are likely to extend their lifespan. The deliberate desire not to buy new devices is another avenue. For To do this, it is necessary to find sustainable partners.” The Isit defines four levels of action to achieve a sustainable digital strategy: a) inform through training and raise awareness to make people understand what exactly this sustainable digital consists of; b) where possible, assess the impact of digital across the business; c) draw inspiration from best practices; d) establish internal behavioral codes for purchase, use, adjustment, maintenance, repair, depreciation and digital waste management. “The way staff use the devices influences the energy consumption of the company, explains Christian Levie, the deputy director of the ICT service provider Econocom. Each employee should ask themselves questions: do I really need two smartphones? “Does the camera have to stay on for each videoconference? Isn’t it better to send a link rather than an appendix? Can we delete some of the 10,000 emails cluttering the inbox?” Everyone can measure the impact of their efforts on the Isit site. “A few key people can set a good example, explains Olivier Vergeynst. Subsequently, their practices, even minor ones, can be replicated in other departments of the company in order to optimize their impact. It is therefore essential to ‘integrate sustainable digital criteria at all levels of decision-making. “Each non-purchase of a new device contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions, recalls Christian Levie. Ditto for each used device that we repair to give it a second life. The fact of opting for a laptop, a second-hand smartphone or tablet can thus save up to 60% compared to the purchase of a new device.Third party maintenance (a maintenance contract, Editor’s note) is an interesting formula for maintenance servers that are aging. Savings are 30-70%.”

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