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GreenCo. A Green Computing Application And MOOC For Awareness-Raising On Digital Pollution

Deloitte Global predicts that smartphones, the world’s most popular consumer electronics device, are expected to have an installed base of 4.5 billion in 2022 [1] and will generate 146 million tons of CO2 or equivalent emissions (CO2e) in 2022 [2]. Every text message, every phone conversation, and every video you upload or download is processed by a data centre. Telecommunications networks and data centres need a lot of energy to serve you, and most data centres are still fuelled by fossil-fuel electricity.

In total honesty, we are unaware of our energy use. Although technology helps to lower the carbon footprint of other businesses by making them more efficient, the global carbon footprint of the Information and Communication Industry (ICT), encompassing primary consumer gadgets, data centres, and communication networks, might reach 14 per cent of the 2016-level worldwide Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGE) by 2040 [3].

Consequently, the Information Technology Industry would contaminate the environment more than automobiles or motorbikes, considerably reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast to physical and visible pollution, where much work has to be done, but progress is being made rapidly, digital pollution is almost invisible. The GreenCo initiative, funded by the Erasmus+ European Union Programme under Reference № 2021-1-ES01-KA220-VET-000025159, seeks to raise awareness about the environmental effect of excessive data use and to suggest simple and easy-to-implement solutions to minimize it.

The main expected result of this initiative is developing an application to increase awareness of digital pollution among users between 15-29 years old. In that framework, we plan to produce the following results:

  • An e-book on green computing focused on energy consumption, e-waste recycling, initiatives and legislation.
  • An application to increase awareness of digital pollution and a mockup of this application to support its development to raise awareness of digital pollution and promote efficient energy consumption and e-waste recycling.
  • MOOC offering online training on digital sustainability and green practices in ICT.

Project partners:

For more information, please visit the website of the initiative at www.greenco-project.eu.

 

Decorative Image of a Lightbulb with a Plant Inside

 


[1] Gartner, “Gartner forecasts global devices installed base to reach 6.2 billion units in 2021,” press release, April 1, 2021.

[2] Deloitte Global has used a range of publicly available information to arrive at this prediction. For CO2e emissions per device and the split by production, use, transport, and end-of-life procession, see Apple, iPhone 12 product environmental report, October 13, 2020; Huawei, “Product environmental information, ” accessed October 6, 2021; Google, Pixel 5 product environmental report, accessed October 6, 2021. For 2022 smartphone shipments information, see International Data Corporation, “Smartphone shipments to grow 5.5% in 2021 driven by strong 5G push and pent-up demand, according to IDC,” March 10, 2021; for the 2022 installed base of smartphones, see: Gartner, “Gartner forecasts global devices installed base to reach 6.2 billion units in 2021 .” TMT Predictions 2022 is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.

[3] Lotfi Belkhir, Ahmed Elmeligi, “Assessing ICT Global Emissions Footprint: Trends to 2040 & Recommendations“, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 177, 2018, Pages 448-463

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