In the age of going “paperless” as the eco-friendly choice, it’s fair to say awareness of our digital energy footprint is pretty low.
As well as the physical behaviors of charging our phones, using desktop computers and watching TV that require electricity, how we behave online is a significant drain on electrical sources. Many of us store our documents in cloud networks, binge-watch Netflix series, use highly secure mobile banking apps, the list goes on – all of which require massive servers, and therefore huge amounts of energy, to provide us with the services of ever-increasing efficiency and security. Bitcoin alone uses 0.5% of the world’s energy – equivalent to that of the Netherlands’ entire carbon footprint.
Enter start-up company eGreen, which partners with businesses to provide consumers the opportunity to off-set their digital habits of not just their own app or product, but of their mobile use in general. According to eGreen founder, Andrez Gonzalez, “The digital economy currently consumes over 10% of the world’s electricity – an ever-increasing share as we adopt new technologies, with serious consequences for the environment.” The eGreen solution offers different compensation mechanisms to neutralize emissions, empowering users to take action in the solution.
But does it risk shifting the responsibility of reducing our energy consumption on to consumers and away from companies themselves? Initiatives that empower consumers will inherently add value, and businesses that align themselves and complement what their consumers care about will always be the ones at the finish line.