Assessment of my individual / professional digital environmental footprint in kg CO2 eq.
Version 1.1 released July 4 2022
Our use of digital technology is constantly increasing, both in the personal and professional spheres. Our impacts are difficult to quantify because they are dematerialised. However, many measurement tools now exist to try to facilitate this accounting process.
To shed light on the impacts linked to our overconsumption of digital technology, the ISIT has created a calculator that allows us to simply calculate our professional digital impact. The architecture of the v1.0 calculator was made available to INR by Décathlon. Version 1.1 was deployed in July 2022 with updated indicators and the addition of new sections to refine the calculation.
The data is mainly sourced from ADEME's greenhouse gas resource centre, the ENERGY STAR programme and the NUTS online tool, a datalake of manufacturers' data on GHG emissions.
The manufacture of equipment accounts for the vast majority of the digital footprint. The average material and resources requirements to manufacture office equipment represent more than 70% of the environmental balance of their life cycle, over an average period of use of 5 years (Source ADEME - PDF, 2.5Mb)
The impact linked to manufacturing is an equivalency in kgCO2 given by the manufacturer, depending on the model. The duration of use allows you to take into account the total impact of the usage of this equipment and to calculate an average per year, including the impact linked to manufacturing.
The footprint we can estimate for data handling in the cloud is still subject to existing studies with disparate results.
We have chosen to use the figures from the Green Cloud Computing study (2021) - PDF, 4.4Mb based on the work of Umweltbundesamt (the German Federal Environmental Agency) which allows a rational approach to the subject, used as a reference by DINUM (209.5 g CO2 / GB / year).
The share of the environmental footprint linked to e-mail remains very small. But it is important to know that the heavier the e-mail, the greater its impact, and this is multiplied by the number of recipients to whom it is sent.
The challenge is above all to be aware of the immense amount of data that we handle without always worrying about the size of each file transferred, but also to question the impact that this large quantity of e-mails sent and received daily can have on our well-being.
Obviously, in the professional world, it is not only digital technology that has a negative impact on the environment. Travel also plays an important role! We invite you to compare the impact of your business travel, including commuting, with that of digital technology.