There are a variety of tools and habits that can be adopted on a daily basis to reduce the impact of technology use and work-related activities. Here are our team's favourites when it comes to eco-actions.
Due to the current context, we are among the majority of organisations that favour teleworking. Although this way of working is positive for the environment, especially because of the reduction of GHG emissions linked to transport, teleworking has negative impacts on the environment. Several studies have been conducted on the impact of technology, the Internet and telework in general.
One thing emerges from reading these articles: the internet would be the seventh most polluting country, if it were one.
This conclusion led us to reflect on ways to reduce our ecological footprint in the workplace, even when teleworking. The environmental transition involves societal changes that take time to implement.
That's why we've identified 5 eco-actions for work that promote short-term change, that allow us all to make a difference.
Tools against pollution from digital use
This first category includes two tools that reduce digital pollution. The well-known Ecosia search engine, which can be added as an extension to the browser of your choice, is one of them. It is a search engine that provides the same services and is as efficient as Google or Firefox, what sets this search engine apart is its ecological approach. The company Ecosia invests almost 80% of the money raised from its activities in tree planting. Since the beginning of its activities, this organisation has planted more than 100 million trees around the world.
Opentabs is another digital tool that has a positive impact on the environment. This extension can be used with several different browsers, and can also be used with Ecosia for the most environmentally friendly digital browsing. This extension is useful for those who operate with multiple tabs open at all times. Opentabs monetizes the ads that are present in the tabs and uses the money to plant trees in collaboration with the Rainforest Trust.
The second eco-gesture to adopt, which in addition to being simple has a significant environmental impact, is the management of data storage. E-mails from a few months or even years ago, mailing lists that are no longer consulted, photos that are saved twice. The deletion of old folders or even old playlists is also part of this. You just have to be aware of the pollution generated by this data and then take the time to delete it as you go along.
Sound management of the consumption of its appliances
The third habit we have identified is better management of electronic devices such as computers, printers or even mobile phones. Leaving devices in standby mode or charging them overnight are environmentally harmful habits that increase energy consumption. Resources are often wasted when devices are left charging for too long without being managed. It is better to turn off devices when not in use and stop charging them when they are fully charged. This practice also has economic benefits as it reduces the costs associated with energy consumption.
Buying from green suppliers
As an organisation, we recognise that the companies from which we purchase services and products have an impact on the environment. We have made a commitment to source from suppliers who are committed to the fight against climate change. The lespagesvertes.ca website brings together a multitude of "green" suppliers who are grouped together by a rating system. Companies in the agricultural and food sectors, community organizations, clothing shops and tourist activity agencies are available on this site.
Our efforts to reduce the impact of our workplace also influence our service offering. Our workshops are designed and run with a particular focus on environmental issues. One tool we often use is the three-dimensional business model framework. This framework allows companies to analyse the social, economic and environmental impact of their activities. Our approach is based on long-term habit change and education through awareness-raising.
We have also recently adopted a teleworking eco-actions policy that has engaged all employees in a collective effort to reduce impacts.