Have you ever thought about the digital carbon footprint of your daily online activity?
Each action we perform online has an environmental impact: every time we send an email, use the Internet or social media, a small amount of carbon is emitted.
With over 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide, around 60 per cent of the global population, the digital behaviour of each of us can make the difference.
In the last two decades, digitalisation has had a positive impact on the environment. Still, the Internet does not come out of nothing, and even the adoption of digital has its price.
Digital Carbon Footprint figures:
- digital technologies are responsible for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and its energy consumption is increasing by 9% a year.
- the internet emits 1.6 billion annual tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
- the communications industry will represent 20% of all the world’s electricity consumption by 2025
- more than 50 million tons of e-waste were produced in 2019 alone, a number that's expected to rise by 8% each year.
These numbers show how every single click is energy-hungry and has an impact that we don't see, but that, indeed, we shouldn't ignore anymore.
The awareness of this issue is rising, but there is still a lot of work to do. It is urgent to make a change by using a responsible digital approach, both individually and within organisations.
New generations are more aware of this problem and are keen to take action. Future managers will play a key role in driving environmental innovations and improvements in sustainability performance in the companies they will work with.
ESCP Green Hackathon on the Digital Carbon Footprint
From the beginning of 2021, the Master in Management Impact Entrepreneurship students developed sustainable business ideas presented during the final event, the "Choose to act! Pitch your project for change", in April. The winning team was Cloudwise, made up of Pietro Carabelli, Francesco Cundari, Giada Gatti, Caterina Nassi and Romain Van Gaver. Their project aims to reduce businesses’ digital carbon footprint and focuses on increasing awareness of the emissions created by digital communication.
Inspired by their idea, ESCP Turin Campus decided to centre the second edition of the ESCP Green Hackathon on the Digital Carbon Footprint, involving several companies in the project.
"The digital carbon footprint that we create with every email and each message on WhatsApp is really a problem that is not being seen enough. With this Hackathon, we can contribute as a business school to launch new trends and grow new ideas that can truly create a positive and sustainable impact. I see our responsibility in this", said Alisa Sydow, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the ESCP Turin Campus and host of the ESCP Green Hackathon | Digital Carbon Footprint that will take place on the 9th of November.
We have chosen to challenge ESCP students with an exciting new hackathon focused on this increasingly concerning topic for many decision makers. Our students' perspectives and ideas can be valuable for companies, and we would like to understand how to make them achievable in the business world.
It's time to act.
So, now it is time to act, to think about how to incorporate sustainable practices in business IT strategy.
Technology firms have taken significant steps in cleaning their clouds, leading the way in adopting sustainable IT contributions. Still, each company can do its part in reducing its digital carbon footprint.
Implementing an ICT green strategy will lower the organisation's environmental impact and reduce costs as well.
It is time for companies to become aware of their digital impact and deal with this issue. It is time to start reducing digital emissions and increase companies' transparency and reputation.
While sustainability has become a priority globally, the digital carbon footprint seems to have been neglected by many decision-makers. The constant increase in digitalisation makes our digital world's carbon cost more and more relevant and impactful on our environment. This critical issue deserves serious attention and needs an acceleration on the transition to sustainable IT to shape a greener future.
ESCP Green Hackathon | Digital Carbon Footprint
Worried about our digital carbon footprint? Join us in a unique event: the ESCP Green Hackathon | Digital Carbon Footprint on November 9th. Now it is time to think about how companies can reduce their digital carbon footprint!
ESCP Green Hackathon: shaping a more Sustainable Future
AlixPartners has challenged ESCP students with a Green Hackathon. They were invited to contribute their ideas on how to create an ecological, sustainable and green future.
The next generation of Impact Entrepreneurs Choose to act!
From sustainability to digital, from health to education and IT, the projects presented by ESCP students during the “Choose to act! Pitch your project for change” investigated the varied issues facing our future lives.