When the global pandemic forces the world to a standstill, technology endeavors to move the world forward. From enabling food and other essentials to be sent or received at a touch of a fingertip to being the means for connection and entertainment; technology has proven itself a reliable savior throughout this ordeal.
At the same time, technology's role in climate change cannot be overlooked. Despite its largely intangible nature, the internet has been estimated to produce over 830 million tonnes of CO2 per year, alarmingly comparable to the amount produced by the aviation industry.
Below, we will review different initiatives that companies can begin to implement into their strategy immediately for a better, greener world.
Implementing sustainability into your business strategy does not have to be a grand gesture. It could be as simple as choosing a hosting system that operates on or invests in renewable energy rather than conventional fossil fuel energy. At Mäd, we are proudly hosted green with Cloudflare, as determined by the Green Web Foundation.
By providing valuable content in the form of insights, videos and case studies on a steady basis, we are able to generate a great amount of traffic to our website. It is therefore important that we are hosted green to offset our environmental footprint.
Fortunately, it appears we are not the only ones who take this stance. According to a recent study of 543 US participants, more than 60% are more likely to purchase from online sites that make explicit claims about their green hosting. Furthermore, 78% believe that green hosting is the bare minimum regarding environmental practices for online shops. Regardless of the increase in consumer awareness, we believe that hosting green is one of the most simple initiatives and should be one of the first measures for companies to start checking off their list.
While finalizing setting up our payment system with Stripe during the midst of the pandemic, we took the opportunity to become a part of Stripe Climate Initiative. Through pledging 1% of our revenue towards this initiative, everything we do now removes carbon.
Stripe is a great example of big companies taking upon themselves the responsibility that few want to bear in a manner that is accessible to all. Moreover, their carbon removal model is a step further than the more familiar 'carbon offset' model. Rather than simply offsetting carbon, Stripe actively removes preexisting carbon in our atmosphere that ultimately lowers the absolute amount of CO2 currently in our atmosphere.
The need for remote work has never been greater, and thus emerged the need for reliable tools to effectively ease employees as they transition from office work to remote work.
For us, the work that we do has always relied on effective communication regardless of the pandemic. Being based in Cambodia with international clients worldwide, we heavily rely on Bloo—our trustee project management tool, to keep our team and our clients aligned as we progress on our projects.
Bloo offers unlimited cloud storage to all companies. Cloud storage data centers utilize fewer resources than on-premise data centres and can store data much more efficiently. By moving data storage from on-premise to cloud, companies can significantly reduce their carbon footprint.
A good example is an email. For something so temporary, it is incomprehensible that emails could have the footprint that they do. Although it varies dramatically from 0.3g CO2 for a spam email to 4g CO2 for a regular email to a hefty 50g CO2 for one with a photo or hefty attachments, it's important to look at the bigger picture to truly assess the environmental impact. When we consider the number of active email users and the long chains that we often find ourselves entangled in, it doesn't take long to see how much it all adds up. What's more, is these figures were attributed ten years ago and today's prediction is even worse. It is estimated that the footprint per message may be higher today due to the advancement in phone sizes and resolutions in today's time.
Through centralizing our communication with Bloo, we save our clients from having to endure long email threads, group chats, and the disorganization of files in multiple platforms, alongside reducing our collective environmental footprint.
One of the biggest reasons why companies are reluctant to prioritize sustainability is the belief that it comes with the cost of productivity. For example, while third-party features are integrated to achieve substantial productivity gains, it's essential to recognize that they also significantly strain the energy load.
However, this doesn't mean that third parties features shall be prohibited. But instead, to employ a cost-benefit analysis to assess whether a specific integration is truly necessary.
The integration of sustainability into our work practices is a marathon, not a sprint. At Mäd, we are constantly learning and applying our knowledge to the work that we do. We believe it's essential to practice what we preach and strive to set model examples with our actions. However, we also believe in sharing this knowledge and advising our clients with what we know.
Every action, no matter how small, can make a difference.