“Digital it’s not a cloud, it has a physical print. So you have to keep it in mind, then try to always think about the equipment that is linked to digital consumption because the equipment Is, accountable for half” – Sylvain Baudoin, The Shift Project
The environmental impact of digital consumption is a pressing concern in our current era. As digital technologies continue to advance, their environmental consequences are becoming increasingly evident, necessitating immediate action to mitigate their impact. The need for individuals and organizations in the cultural sector is to recognize the environmental footprint of their digital practices and equipment usage and take proactive steps to reduce
their impact on the environment.
Session leader: Héloïse Lesimple, The Shift Project
Speakers: Sylvain Baudoin, contributor to The Shift Project’s Lean-ICT workstream
Article written by Angela Mognol
What role does digital play in culture? What practices are going digital? Is it a step forward for the UE ecological transition? What is the environmental impact of digital technology? What is the cause?
Presentation by Sylvain Baudoin: uncovering the environmental Impact of ICT in the Cultural Sector
Sylvain Baudoin, a contributor to The Shift Project’s Lean-ICT workstream, is today’s speaker behind a crucial presentation addressing the environmental impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) within the cultural sector.
The term “ICT” refers to Information and Communication Technologies, which encompass a wide range of digital technologies, crucial in the modern world. It includes digital devices, the internet, and various digital services.
The presentation aims to shed light on the environmental consequences of ICT usage, particularly in the cultural sector. The growing reliance on digital devices and content consumption has far-reaching environmental impacts, including energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Digital devices have become an integral part of our lives, with around 34 billion such devices globally, most of them connected to the internet. This connectivity enables a wide array of activities, from gaming to streaming and accessing online content. However, it also comes with challenges.
Operating digital devices heavily relies on internet connectivity. The absence of a stable internet connection limits their functionality. Furthermore, energy consumption is a critical concern, extending beyond device usage to the energy-intensive manufacturing process. About half of the primary energy consumption is attributed to production.
Data usage is on the rise, leading to an increased demand for data centers, which store and produce digital services. This surge in data usage contributes to environmental concerns, notably carbon dioxide emissions, a significant issue associated with digital technologies.
Taking a closer look at the environmental impact of digital technologies reveals that every device has environmental consequences throughout its lifecycle.
This includes the extraction of materials during production, such as mining and water usage, and the challenges of recycling digital devices due to the minute quantities of materials used.
In the cultural sector, the availability of digital content encourages greater consumption, making it essential to measure and raise awareness of the environmental impact of digital devices and content. The presentation provides practical steps to reduce this impact:
- Prefer reconditioned and secondhand products over new ones: This promotes the efficient use of existing resources.
- Prioritize repairing digital equipment instead of replacing it: This extends the life of devices, reducing the need for new production.
- Promote the circular economy in the culture industry: This includes sharing equipment, selling, or donating it when no longer needed, reducing waste.
- Compress files and use links: When sharing data, this reduces redundancy and energy consumption.
- Avoid duplicating videos across multiple networks: This minimizes unnecessary energy usage.