There’s no Plan(et) B: Leveraging Design and Technology to Save the Earth

June 28, 2022

Anupriya Karmakar

36.3 billion tonnes

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in2021 (International Energy Agency)

43.08 billion metric tons

Global carbon dioxide emissions are forecast to increase by 2050 (Statista)

10 GtCO2

Amount of CO2 needed to be removed annually from the atmosphere by 2050 in order to reach net-zero emissions, with increased removal capacity up to 20 GtCO2 per year by 2100 (World Resources Institute)

The statistics are sobering.          

So is the reality that digital environments contribute to climate change. Running devices and powering networks create carbon dioxide emissions that are threatening our planet.  

Sustainability is good for business

Sustainability is good for business. It’s that simple. A triple-bottom line approach to your operations will benefit your organization in both the immediate term and the long term. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, here are some of the benefits of making your operations more sustainable:

  • Cost Savings: Your business could be reducing significant operational costs each month by  replacing old computers, reducing electricity and gas usage or moving from data centers to the cloud.
  • Brand reputation and mitigating risk: No matter how big or small your organization is, your brand matters. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices are a key metrics in establishing and building a valuable brand. They are also critical in effective risk management.
  • Tax incentives: There are tax benefits available in Canada, designed to encourage energy conservation and the adoption of environmental-friendly practices. To find out more about the incentives that are available, visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s guidelines here.
  • Hiring and employee retention: The talent market is changing. People want to work with organizations that have well-articulated and meaningful ESG policies and practices. Adopting the latest technology that further your sustainability efforts is a competitive advantage when retaining and attracting top talent.  

What’s your Carbon Footprint?

Every organization can adopt sustainable operating practices to help reduce green house gas emissions. The best way to start is by measuring your carbon footprint.  

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted directly or indirectly through your operations,either offline or online.

Yes, you read it right. Even going fully digital has a measurable impact on the environment.

How? Every time someone visits your web page, CO2is produced.

There are some helpful, easy-to-use, DIY, online tools that tell you how environment-friendly (or not) your website is, whether it’s using green webhosting, and even how much CO2 it is emitting.

Home - Sustainable Web Design

*At RedBit, we’re always learning and looking for ways to be better. We are in the process of redesigning our own website and addressing the areas where we need to make it more energy efficient.

Designing energy-efficient web pages can significantly reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. We work with our clients to improve the energy efficiency of their sites by optimizing images to reduce file size, being strategic with the size of the videos, deleting unnecessary content, creating print-friendly content, improving navigation to make it easier to find information, and using green web hosts. Not only does this mindful approach to web development help reduce GHG emissions, it delivers an improved user experience and an SEO-optimized site.

Leveraging cloud technology to drive your sustainability goals

Store and processing data and applications on massive servers in huge data centers is one of the most energy-intensive parts of an organization’s operations. Data centers consume a tremendous amount of energy (some of them are even powered with fossil fuel) and can be one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions.

“Data centers use about 200 terawatt hours (TWh)each year, contributing around 0.3% to overall carbon emissions” - International Energy Agency

Organizations globally are taking steps to ‘decarbonize’ their operations by migrating on-premises data centers to a cloud infrastructure. The cloud really does have a silver lining!

Microsoft and partners are building a more sustainable future


“Cloud computing is helping reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, potentially preventing more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 from 2021 through 2024” - International Data Corp (IDC).

As a tech company that lives and breathes technology, we’ve helped our clients realize significant operational and sustainability benefits by adopting the cloud. It’s helped them fast-track their digital transformation and at the same time reduce negative climate impact by building greater energy efficiency into their digital operations.

We helped Second Harvest leverage the right tools in Azure cloud to drive even greater efficiency in their operations. The Second Harvest Food Rescue app connects businesses with non-profits to get good, healthy food to the people who need it, and keeping it out of landfills. Since the app launched in 2018, Second Harvest has made real change happen in the food waste revolution, and in the process, avert  millions of pounds of greenhouse gases.

Having a climate action strategy is the beginning. Making it happen starts with asking yourself whether you’re putting game-changing technology and digital-thinking into practice to meet your sustainability goals. When you adopt a sustainability mindset to the way you work, backed by modern and robust technology like the cloud, shrinking your carbon footprint becomes much easier. You start making data-driven decisions that further enhance your sustainability benchmarks, and efficiently monitor energy consumption, resource usage and material wastage. It’s the smart way to make a positive impact on your business, and the planet.

If you’re looking for ideas about how to leverage technology and design to reduce your environmental impact and make a difference, let’s talk. We’d love to share our experience with you.


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