How to reduce the carbon impact of digital devices?

12 June 2023 | digital pollution

Where does the carbon footprint of digital devices come from?

Act on a daily basis to reduce the carbon footprint of digital devices has become a major issue for our future. The digital world has 9 billion connected devices, including 2 billion phones. Internet pollution therefore inexorably results.

To reduce this impact, we have 2 concrete tracks: act directly on our connected objects and act on their energetic consumption.

Reduce the carbon impact of digital devices: in concrete

The first point to reduce the carbon impact of digital devices, in a concrete way, is to expand the lifespan of our objects.

According to the ADEME, just the manufacturing of a computer requires nearly 240 kg of fossil fuel and 1.5 tons of water. We have a concrete example of the necessity to slow our consumption.

For this, it’s possible to preserve our objects in many ways, or to give them a second life to avoid them ending up in a dumpster.

  • Take care of his digital devices. Keeping them as long as possible obviously offers a way of a reduction of our carbon footprint. A phone can last up to 5 years!
  • Regularly clean the device, sort to remove applications, software, useless photos or videos that can slow the use by using too much space
  • Fix the small damages. The most of our devices are fixable before to be threw or replaced
  • Buy a second hand or refurbished
  • Recycle. To favor this, you need to throw your device in an adapted container.

In terms of material, here’s what’s possible to do. Secondly, it’s also essential to be interested in the energetic consumption of our digital objects.

Reduce the carbon footprint of digital devices: in digital

The second important point concerning the carbon reduction of digital devices concerns energetic consumption. Indeed, every one of our actions in the digital and the internet sector have consequences on resource depletion and on biodiversity. Reduce its carbon footprint through our energetic consumption allows to act both in terms of costs and in terms of preservation of the environment:

  • Favor stopping rather than putting digital objects into standby. A computer in standby would use 20 to 40% of the equivalent of its consumption when it’s on. That represents 15 to 30 kg of CO2 per year.
  • Turn off its electronic devices (computer, box, television) allows to reduce an economy between 70 to 130 kWh or between 700 to 1200 liters of water. You’ll realize, on your bills, an economy of 8 to 16 euros.
  • Limit the mails and the attached files and to forget to sort;
  • Close the useless tabs that require the energy of data centers and increase the internet carbon balance.


Finally, to reduce the carbon impact of digital devices it’s to get close to digital sobriety. We have seen it in 2 major points how to reduce this footprint:

  • Expand the lifespan of the digital objects
  • Reduce directly or indirectly the energy consumption.

It’s now obvious that digital objects have an impact. In a global way, the digital sector pollutes.

The internet pollution isn’t negligible. Also, reducing the carbon footprint of a website, reducing the internet pollution in general, it’s also a move towards digital sobriety. It’s why Greenoco has developed a solution allowing to realize a carbon balance on websites, and reduce your carbon emissions linked to your website by putting in place a double strategy:

  • Reduce the CO2 emissions of websites and their electric consumption;
  • Increase the performances in terms of load time, SEO, and transformation rate.

Discover more on the solution of carbon audit of website Greenoco

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