Paving the Way to Net Zero in a Digital Age | Cosmic Skip to main content

Paving the Way to Net Zero in a Digital Age

Well we all know the sun has been shining lately here in Devon – and enjoyable as that might be, we also can’t ignore the weather-related events and crises around the world being generated by climate change.  Floods and wild-fires are now a regular occurrence and increasing their impact on the lives of millions of people, whilst we all complain about the impact on our travel and holiday plans.

Now is the time for all businesses to ‘double-down’ on their thinking about 'Net Zero' and the ways in which we can forge ahead to the target dates – for Cosmic this is 2030 at the latest. We have already evolved our own methods for measuring and reporting various forms of carbon emissions across all activities of the business, and continue to improve and evolve that work. A dashboard report each month helps us to understand and input the information generated and easily share that information with colleagues. We also have a highly motivated Staff Working Group in place, who provide regular challenges on how we go further and deeper in our work to reduce carbon impacts – both for the business and in all our personal lives too. It's hugely inspiring to have champions on Net Zero across the business.

Here’s a specific truth we are keen to share with all businesses at this time - without truly switching to digital ways of doing business, the challenge of net-zero will not be achieved.

“By harnessing them appropriately, the digital revolution can be steered to combat climate change and advance global sustainability, environmental stewardship, and human well-being”. (Geneva Environment Network)

Let’s take a look at a use-case we put together for a recent programme by way of illustrating the switch and savings model:

- The carbon cost of an online call (MS Teams or Zoom) is around 336g CO2 for an hour per person (includes host server, computer use) and so assuming 10 people on this call and it’s a workshop for 5 hours  = 5,600g of CO2

- If this workshop was in person, and we assume each attendee travelled 20 miles, round trip, to be there – travel alone (without heating a venue) would be 80,800g of CO2.

That’s almost 15x more carbon for just one of our workshops

Consider the increased ways in which your business can limit its travel to those which are fundamentally important, even essential to your success. Your clients, partners and suppliers just might be influenced by your leadership on these things.

Now, that’s not a statement designed to ignore the fact that digital ways of businesses still generate carbon – they absolutely do.  From devices, to servers and to the electricity needed to power all our digital technology we all know about the direct connections which exist. But it is clear from our own measuring and reporting already, that switching away from thousands of miles of travelling to replace meetings with virtual calls and workshops; and ensuring that our file storage is limited to the precise necessity for retention of data and documents (and yes that includes the 90 thousand emails you’ve held on to!). And we are currently working through the optimum period for each of our devices to remain in use to reduce carbon through unnecessary upgrading of equipment. Have you all started to measure these things (and maybe more)?

Cosmic is now forging ahead with our new series of Green Digital workshops – providing insights and case studies on the intrinsic link between going further in your digital transformation and the carbon impact enhancements you will achieve.

We are committed and passionate about supporting the Net Zero revolution and need to ensure that these years ahead are not a continual decline into one climate crisis after another.

I hope you have read this and understand the compelling nature of these efforts within your own businesses.