Digital can now be used to assist companies with both their digital transformation and their energy transition, via monitoring and power management systems, and solutions for measuring energy usage. Apart from green tips and tricks, there is a host of tools and best practices that can help you make your digital workplace more environmentally-friendly. We looked into it in detail with Manon Petit, CSR Manager at Econocom, and Sylvain Huguet, Green IT consultant for the Group.
Can digitalisation be an accelerator for energy transition? “Sustainable development came before digital, but digital can be a major driver in this area,” says Sylvain Huguet.
Very often, the two come hand in hand. “The organisations who come to us are thinking about both digitalisation and energy savings projects, because they’re becoming increasingly mature in environmental matters,” says Manon Petit.
But how do you put theory into practice? By getting everyone involved, says Manon Petit:
“Environmental issues affect all the departments in a company, but the Facilities and IT departments are particularly concerned with how these affect the workspace.”
A FEW TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR WORKING ENVIRONMENT MORE ECO-RESPONSIBLE
Let’s look first at simple things which are easy to put in place, and help reduce energy bills and limit an organisation’s carbon footprint. Manon Petit and Sylvain Huguet recommend the following three:
- Use instant messaging rather than email
- To improve everyday communication, quality of life and mobility for staff, use collaborative tools or the company’s internal social network
- Use energy-efficient equipment and eco-design software and applications.
And these simple gestures have a surprisingly significant impact: environmental agency ADEME points out that a 1 MB email generates 15 g of CO2, although the carbon footprint of email can vary depending on the size of the attachments and the number of recipients. For example, sending 33 1 MB e-mails to two recipients a day generates 180 kg of CO2 a year – the equivalent of driving more than 1,000 km!
ENERGY TRANSITION IN THREE STEPS
There’s more to energy transition in the digital workplace than a few tips: it involves transforming the workplace, the impact on staff and their working methods and organisation. This three-step process involves:
- Connected buildings
- Implementing resources and tools to ensure that everything complies with environmental standards
- Transforming the workplace itself, which should be designed to encourage interaction between employees.
As our experts stress, these measures have to come from senior management and be coordinated by the CSR department, liaising with the various business lines, as they will be instrumental in ensuring that the company fulfils its sustainable development commitments: each business line should be in charge of implementing the aspects of CSR that are specific to them.
Sylvain Huguet has therefore come up with some simple guidelines for managers looking to develop a sustainable workplace:
- Be aware of the reality of the usage of resources in your workplace
- Implement tools to measure and audit energy spends accurately
- Devise an action plan accordingly: replace traditional lighting with LED, the air condition system with a less energy-intensive solution, use energy-efficient workstations, etc.
“Our slogan is ‘go green…now!’ and that’s also the message we want to get across to companies,” concludes Sylvain Huguet. So when are you going to effect the energy transition in your organisation?