Depredadores Digitales (Círculo Rojo) is an independent worldwide journalistic investigation on the impact of the carbon footprint of the digital industry, but also of our digital consumption and behavior.
The increase in the digital carbon footprint goes hand in hand with digital transformation. This footprint is not considered or visualised from practically any digital transformation strategy.
This vacuum, added to the growing impact of digital pollution, is not sustainable.
The digital carbon footprint has already exceeded that of the global aviation and maritime industry. If it were a country, the digital industry would be the fourth most polluted nation on the planet.
In East and West, in the last five years, different independent reports warn that the energy consumption of our digital ecosystem is not sustainable with respect to the supply of energy and materials that it requires.
It is an environmental contamination we relativize. Our digital world creates a carbon footprint that we are barely understanding.
The answer is yes. Because the physical body of the Internet, all of its industries — including mining, assembly, data centers, cable infrastructure, satellites, electronic waste, software — and components demand considerable amounts of energy, in addition to minerals whose extraction processes are complex and polluting.
In the wake of COVID-19, digital acceleration is high on the agenda of countries, industries, societies, and governments. But its interaction with the issues of energy impact and climate change is avoided. In the worst of cases, it is silenced by the different actors involved in the chain that makes up the digital industry.
Reducing and controlling the digital carbon footprint requires returning to the capacity for critical thinking to question the usefulness of our behaviors related to the purchase, consumption of digital objects and services. In addition to agreeing on a universal methodology that sheds light on the reality of a growing carbon footprint. In this context, digital sobriety emerges as a possible answer.
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