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How to control your digital impact?

Smartphones, tablets, computers... digital technology has become part of our everyday lives. And although it may seem intangible or impalpable, we can control our digital environmental impact.

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These tools are incredible; they open up the world, allow us to keep in touch with our loved ones, share real-time information, and often save time.

It's hard to imagine our lives without digital technology. However, these new uses also have undesirable effects of which we are sometimes completely unaware. 

It takes large quantities of natural resources, among other things, to manufacture and operate our digital devices. Smartphones, tablets, smart watches, video projectors, smart thermostats, activity sensors and more, we own increasing numbers of connected devices, and we're replacing these devices faster and faster.

What are the consequences? Ever more devices also mean increased metal extraction, a sustained and ongoing need for fossil fuels, worldwide transport to collect, transport and assemble all the components, and so on. Greenhouse gas emissions generated by the digital sector are exploding. Today, the digital sector emits 4% of the world's greenhouse gases.

And if that doesn't sound like a lot 4% is more than aviation, twice the emissions of a country like Spain, and more than the entire global truck fleet. And this is just the beginning... with current technological leaps, the arrival of artificial intelligence, the multiplication of connected objects, 5G... it is estimated that the carbon footprint of digital technology will have doubled by 2025 and could account for more than 20% of global emissions by 2050!

It's time to act!
As consumers, we have the power to change our habits and choose a more sustainable use of digital technology.

Calculate the impact of your digital uses

Do you have any idea of the amount of CO2 emitted by your digital uses and devices?

Using an online calculator, it's easy to measure the carbon footprint of your emails, streaming or social network use. Find out more about your digital footprint in just 2 clicks: External

Compare the impact of your uses and the carbon footprint for manufacturing your appliances: External

That's a start, now how can we reduce this footprint? We'll be giving you some ideas in future editions of our newsletter.

Paradigm, a company committed to sustainable and responsible technology

The advent of new technologies has profoundly changed the way people live their daily lives. That's why the Brussels Region has made the digital transition one of its main drivers for change, deploying new tools and services that simplify and improve everyone's life.

However, this transformation also brings environmental challenges. In response to this, in 2021, the Brussels Region made "Responsible Digital Technology" central to its digital transformation plan. Consequently, it commissioned Paradigm, in its capacity as the orchestrator of ICT capacities for all Brussels regional public services, to implement and lead a strategy to make digital technology more environmentally friendly.

But what is Responsible Digital Technology?

Responsible Digital Technology offers an innovative perspective on how to envision the desirable future of digital. It is intended to be the intersection between the environmental and digital transitions. It proposes a relevant approach and solutions for reducing energy consumption and environmental impact, and promoting the resilience of digital infrastructures.

Opens in new windowDigital Spring Brussels 2024 will take place on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 March 2024.For this new edition, organized by Paradigm, Digital Spring Brussels will move into Tour & Taxis and once again showcase the best of the Brussels Region's IT ecosystem. To register for this event, Opens in new windowclick here.

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