As a digital player, the greater our technological advances, the greater our responsibility. The nature of our digital activities requires us to engage in a collective and continuous process of reflection to make our services and the uses we generate responsible.
It’s a wide-ranging reflection, even a work in progress, and one that is sure to provoke a great deal of thought in our audiovisual community.
Slow down. Producing better and less… How can digital technology play its part?
In 2021, the worldwide share of greenhouse gas emissions generated by digital activity is estimated at 4%.
This represents a small proportion compared with other sectors, but the high growth rate of digital consumption raises questions. Greenhouse gases are part of the equation, but far from the only one. Digital technology is not immaterial, contrary to popular belief, and the impact of computers, cables, screens and data centers also contributes to the consumption of water and primary energy.
To put things in perspective, the world’s annual digital activity represents 116 million round-the-world trips by car and 3.6 billion showers…
At Skeem, we’ve decided not to shirk our responsibilities and, collectively, to build the tools to better analyze and reduce the environmental footprint of the digital age.
The challenge is immense, and it’s not a question of castigating each other or pointing fingers, but rather of thinking about how to move forward in the right direction.
We’ll have to wait for a real digital environmental barometer to be published, before we can make truly documented, high-impact decisions, as a French study by Arcep indicates.
In the meantime, we’ve integrated this thinking into the very genesis of Skeem and into every stage of its design.
At Skeem, we’re constantly asking ourselves how we can adapt our business practices to meet the need for responsible digital business.
Concerning sales models: when we thought about our business model and drew up our plans, we had the choice between billing by the number of projects or by the number of users, like many digital platforms. Choosing to bill by the number of projects was an obvious choice. Firstly, to better monitor our users’ economic activity, but also because it offers greater control over their consumption, with free and immediate project pausing. The idea is not to encourage consumption when it is possible to do otherwise.
When it comes to our communications strategy, we have a philosophy: to be of real service, to be of long-lasting interest. Our sustainable approach to responsible digital communications means that our communications are always useful and always have an impact. I’m sick and tired of vapid, superficial blather, rehashing the obvious 1,000 times over. We favor quality content that is useful to our users, and reject the kleenex volume communication of past decades. How do you do it? By supplementing our own expert opinions with resources from the field: interviews, discussions, reports, case studies…
Using a digital platform inevitably generates additional activity. In return, it considerably reduces the number of emails sent, and the fluidity of communication it generates significantly reduces the number of versions produced.
But that doesn’t stop us from thinking about how we can further reduce Skeem’s carbon footprint. We made a difficult choice: while all digital platforms are racing to offer the best video encoding, we decided to offer a reduced number of pre-encoded formats. What does this mean? In general, for a video format uploaded online, integrated media players offer a multitude of formats to download, should the need arise. Sometimes, for an original video, the platforms offer 8 other formats that will almost never be used. And yet, these files require energy to encode and use up storage space in data centers… for nothing.
At Skeem, we’ve decided to drastically reduce the number of formats on offer (3 or 4 depending on the original format). Of course, users deliver the format they want, but between us, for reviewing media, do we really need to do it on 8K?
Here too, we are vigilant and do our utmost. We need to combine service performance, data security and environmental responsibility. The challenge is immense. We are constantly on the lookout for the best existing solutions, and how they are evolving. We are careful to use data centers that :
Yes, we’re all in the same boat, and every day we’re thinking about the uses we’re creating with our UX-UI application designs. But beyond the use of digital platforms, there are a huge number of related levers that enable us to limit our impact on the environment.
We’re all aware of the exponential demand for digital services and the benefits they offer in terms of connectivity, efficiency and innovation. So it’s essential that we approach these benefits in a responsible and sustainable way. As a player in the digital industry, we need to take concrete action, and that means fostering a culture of sustainable innovation.
We also need to encourage our users to make informed choices. The environmental responsibility of digital is also an opportunity to bring about positive change. And we need to work together on this. Don’t hesitate to send us your ideas, as you produce on Skeem, shoot and talk to us… Let’s not overwhelm ourselves, let’s think together! Good productions!
Thomas Co-founder of Skeem
Source : https://www.arcep.fr/nos-sujets/numerique-et-environnement.html