The WWF has calculated the ecological footprint of an employee spending his day in front of a computer. And the numbers are pretty scary! Discover your carbon footprint when you are at work…
A carbon footprint equivalent to 11 Kilometers by car per year
When you spend all day in front of the computer, you tend to worry about the state of your back, your eyes… But not really about your carbon footprint. After all, between carpooling, public transportation and low-energy light bulbs at home, it shouldn’t be that high, right? Yet according to the WWF, simply spending the day like this has real environmental consequences.
In terms of kilowatt-hour consumption, it’s like leaving 80 low-energy light bulbs on 220 days a year, for 8 hours, or driving 11 kilometers every day. The most worrying thing about these figures is that they are not an average or a high assessment: they concern the “good students”. The data comes from 8 companies in the “Green IT” club, which brings together companies seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their digital activities. A more global study should reveal much more alarming figures.
The digital sector faces the challenge of the Ecological Transition
Companies in the digital sector are now at a crossroads. Without investment or appropriate measures, their negative effects on the environment could be increased tenfold. Aurélie Pontal, head of partnerships at WWF explains.
“Digital is growing and represents a real opportunity to develop concrete solutions to reduce the ecological footprint. However, if the environmental challenges linked to this development are not taken into account or poorly addressed, we are exposed to a considerable increase in our ecological footprint. The consequences include the degradation of ecosystems, the depletion of our resources and the worsening of global warming.”
However, several avenues are mentioned to reduce the environmental consequences of the digital activities of companies. Thus, some companies have chosen to attack directly the source of the problem: the data centers. These data storage centers consume a lot of energy. Not only because of their operation, but also because the servers heat up a lot and need to be cooled down to function properly.
To counter the negative environmental effect of their data centers, some companies opt for renewable energies or try to reuse the heat they produce, thus avoiding rejecting it into the atmosphere. More and more companies are also looking at the issue of recycling computer components. Sometimes very polluting if they are not treated properly. Some initiatives also allow employees to participate in reducing their digital pollution on their own scale. New search engines compensate CO2 emissions by planting trees or financing sustainable projects. We can mention Ecosia or Lilo.