Sustainability, sobriety, solidarity, be committed to responsible digital !
Published by Véronique di Benedetto, Vice President France of Econocom
The Covid-19 epidemic has highlighted the primordial place that digital technology now occupies in our societies. During the crisis, it has played a vital role in maintaining essential activities - health, education, energy, logistics... - and enabling most of us to maintain links with our loved ones.
But the more we need technology, the less we can ignore the fact that not everyone has the same facilities for teleworking, distance learning or teleconsulting with a doctor. It is up to digital actors to help reduce this digital divide, which overlaps on social inequalities and aggravates them. At Econocom, we are acting in this direction for several years, through actions undertaken in particular in the field of education, via partnerships, sponsorships or support for Edtech startups. And that is why we are naturally mobilized to help associations and collectives such as #ConnexiondUrgence, which work hard collecting IT equipment for underprivileged young people and enable them to continue their schooling at home. Our role and the meaning of our mission are here expressed !
However, even in times of pandemic, we cannot praise the societal benefits of digital technology and encourage its responsible use without worrying about the environmental consequences. Technology accounts for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions and this share is increasing. If the digital revolution is also to be a sustainable revolution, we need to move towards digital sobriety, in particular by favoring the use over the possession, by generalising good practices and by measuring the impacts on the entire life cycle of equipment (manufacture, use, end of life) in order to better target actions.
It is both possible and necessary to commit to a path of responsible digital. At Econocom, for example, we have developed solutions like Watt's Green, to help companies to reconcile their environmental objectives with their business strategy. With this solution, we have managed to reduce our IT equipment consumed energy by 41%, our CO2 emissions by 44% and the number of our managed equipment by half, with constant staffing levels and with an improved quality of service.
Since the beginning of the current COVID crisis, many voices have been raised calling for a new development model, more respectful of people and nature. These results show that this is not a utopia. With solutions it also brings to the energy transition, digital could be one of the factors of transformation.