The European Internet Forum will hold an important debate on sustainable digitization and how technology can contribute to meeting environmental objectives and the fight against climate change on January 25 at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels.
The objective is to provide ideas and solutions so that the digital transformation is carried out in the European Union “in a sustainable way and supports the environmental objectives of the Green Pact and the Circular Economy Plan”. The European Internet Forum defines, in this sense, “sustainable digitization” as the process of digitizing the economy in a lasting and ecological way. The session will feature the participation of Federico Menna (EIT Digital), Katharina Lasota Heller (Swiss-Polish Blockchain Association), Phil Brown (Circularise) and Shuchi Rana (Whitespace Intelligence-ServiceNow).
the meeting Sustainable digitization It is a prominent example of the growing interest in making digital transformation and environmental protection compatible, especially with regard to the circular economy and the fight against climate change.
A meeting in the European Parliament shows that the digital sector wants to reduce its environmental impact
Experts and institutions recall that digital transformation brings many opportunities to society, but also involves energy consumption due to the use of devices, distribution networks and data centers; resource extraction and waste generation associated with the manufacture and disposal of electronic devices; and emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG).
In this climate section, for example, the European Commission estimates that digital technologies currently represent between 8% and 10% of our energy consumption and between 2% and 4% of GHG emissions.
On a global scale, the report clicking clean, published in 2017 by Greenpeace, indicated that around 7% of the electrical energy consumed on the planet derives from the energy demand associated with the digital economy sector. The report indicates that this sector will reach 14% of the electricity consumed in 2040. Knowing and reducing the energy consumption of the digital sector, in this sense, are listed as the first priorities of sustainable digitization.
UOC and Awesense projects, winners of the first Tech & Climate challenge in Catalonia
One of the most innovative initiatives put into practice in Catalonia to encourage the reduction of the environmental footprint of the technology sector is the Tech & Climate challenge, promoted by Digital Future Society with the collaboration of the Barcelona City Council Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda.
The first edition of this international competition launched in 2020 had as winners the projects presented by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and the Awesense platform, from Canada. The UOC project is a tool to assess the environmental footprint of cloud computing, which uses large amounts of energy. This solution measures the effective use of resources in the clouds and calculates the energy used, which makes it possible to develop energy efficiency policies for optimal consumption.
Awesense, for its part, was awarded for its software platform to optimize energy production and consumption in energy systems. The solution of this platform born in Canada digitizes the use of energy, optimizing its efficiency and identifying problems by tracking different parameters in real time. The first edition of the Tech & Climate challenge received 27 applications, including proposals from Singapore, Sweden, Brazil, Rwanda and Pakistan.