eGreen: how to reduce your digital carbon footprint at work

Tuesday 9 April 2024

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Have you ever wondered what the environmental impact of your digital activities at work could be? It may be stronger than you think! Diminishing your digital carbon footprint on duty can be easily achieved by adopting simple measures and practices. Discover the new kit for professionals to find all the tools you need to start.

The importance of assessing your digital carbon footprint

Digitalisation has been transforming our societies for decades, progressively integrating our daily practices at work. While the convenience of digital devices is undeniable, the environmental cost associated with constant production and use of these devices has to be assessed. The hidden impact of our digital activities – our digital carbon footprint – contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. If one looks at all the stages in the life cycle of a digital device – production, use and disposal – it seems clear that the digital world’s impact goes far beyond global warming. Producing, using and disposing of digital devices also impacts biodiversity, health and people’s socio-economic situation on every continent.

The good news is that reducing your digital carbon footprint at work is achievable through rapid and easy-to-implement measures. Adopting such an approach benefits the environment and may contribute to cost savings and facilitate resource management in your organisation.

Addressing every aspect of your digital activity

To reduce your impact, you must first identify which practices may be the most polluting and consider which can be changed or improved. From emails, streaming platforms, social media and production of digital devices, multiple subjects should be addressed to understand the scope of the environmental impact of the digital sector.

For example, a single email has a carbon footprint of about 4 grams of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), and it can go up to 35g for an email with only a single attachment. Likewise, watching 10 hours of high-definition videos uses more data than the entire English Wikipedia. Beyond usage, producing a digital device requires significant use of raw materials. On average, 200 kg of materials are excavated to recollect only a few grams of usable minerals. These facts demonstrate the extent of the digital sector’s overall carbon footprint and how it concerns many practices and sectors. To reduce the impact of your digital activities, you should assess needless practices and adopt simple measures to enable change.

Adopt small and simple measures

To discover easy-to-implement measures, check the kit for professionals developed in the eGreen project. It provides facts, tutorials, and checklists to help you reduce your daily digital carbon footprint. General information and facts were selected to inform you about the important notions about a specific theme and its related challenges. Tutorials will also help you implement simple solutions rapidly. On a separate page, dedicated checklists will help you adjust and adopt an eco-responsible approach to your daily work.

Checklists also provide advice dedicated to organisations to enable impact on another level. They provide solutions to rapidly reduce the environmental impact of digital technology on a larger scale by involving organisations in the process and making recommendations for internal policies that can be implemented gradually (for example, recycle systematically electronic devices that do not work and cannot be repaired, implement rules to ensure the sustainable use of digital devices).

The themes were carefully selected to cover the daily professional use of digital technology: emails, cloud storage, internet security, production of devices and more. Depending on your field of work and priorities, you may want to focus on one or several subjects at the same time. It is advised to implement measures gradually and opt for the most convenient approach for your work / impact on the environment balance.

Share and disseminate this Kit for VET Proffesionals with colleagues within your organisation to initiate a movement toward adopting green digital practices! 

To learn more about how we can promote a sustainable digital future in the Vocational Education and Training sector, we invite you to read the complete study “Green Digital Transition in the EU“. Join this important discussion and become part of the solution for a greener and digitally advanced future. Download the report today and start your journey towards a conscious and environmentally respectful digitalisation.

About eGreen

eGreen is a project funded by the Erasmus+, KA220-VET – Cooperation partnerships in vocational education and training program.

Partners

For further information

Read more about eGreen.

Contact Fabrizio Di Spezio: fabrizio.dispezio@cesie.org.

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