Digital sobriety: why and how to go about it?

Digital sobriety ;rique: why and how to do it?

About 2 to 4% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are produced by digital technology, according to a study carried out in 2021. The damage to the environment is real. By comparison, civil aviation is responsible for about 2% of global GHGs.

Digital sobriety encourages reducing the environmental impact of the design, manufacture and use of digital infrastructures and tools.

Several practices, individual and collective, make it possible to use digital more eco-responsible way.

Environmental impacts

“The manufacture of digital devices mobilizes many raw materials, which require large quantities of water and energy,” explains the project manager for the digital challenge of the organization Chemins de transition located in Côte-des-Neiges ( CDN), Martin Deron.

He adds that a two-kilogram (kg) computer requires 600 kg of raw materials and that approximately 80% of the environmental footprint of a smartphone is produced during of its manufacture.

“A smart phone contains about fifty different metals, the extraction of which emits large quantities of GHGs and toxic waste,” says Amélie Côté, source reduction analyst for the organization Équiterre, located in Ville-Marie. .

Thus, the consequences on local ecosystems and human health are heavy, such as soil and water pollution.

Once the devices are working, the energy used is directly linked to their electricity consumption, to that of the network and data centers, as well as to the manufacture of network and data center equipment, according to Mr. Deron.

In addition, only a tiny fraction of digital devices are recycled, while the majority end up in landfills or open dumps, especially in Africa.

“There are still 10,000 tons of electronic devices from citizens that are thrown away every year in Quebec,” says Ms. Côté.

Individual and collective practices

On an individual level, Mr. Deron recommends reducing the need to manufacture new equipment by extending the life of devices or by favoring reconditioning.

He also calls for changing the trajectories from digital to Quebec, through changes in the field of digital culture, but also in the business models of companies.

The organization Techno Culture Club, located on Le Plateau, offers for example the workshop < em>For an eco-responsible use of digital in several community centres, schools and libraries in Montreal in order to inform people of the immateriality of the Internet.

It will soon be offered online to the organization Aînés Montréal via the network of Montreal libraries. It has also taken place in the past at the CDN library and at the Women's Association for Education and Social Action located in Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, for example.

“Everyone has a role to play in this transformation, be it investors, civil society, digital companies, users, educational and research institutions and government actors,” thinks the project manager. for the digital challenge of the Chemins de transition organization.

The RIDEAU organization, located in Le Plateau, has developed an eco-responsible policy with regard to its annual event organized online in 2021 Several measures have been taken, such as communicating to participants the good habits to adopt.

These habits are currently continuing within the company via a monthly email sorting reminder, a limitation of the use of cameras or donations of screens and keyboards, as Amandine Chamard-Bois, Deputy General Manager and Head of Customer Experience at RIDEAU, points out.

Thus, digital sobriety is increasingly addressed in workshops and e conferences, such as the next Montreal Innovation Summit to be held on May 26, 2022 in partnership with public organizations.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *