Reducing our digital footprint
Published on 2023-09-20 10:27:48Sustainability, IDA Team

Reducing our digital footprint


Amsterdam, 20 September 2023 - Email, reports, data - in an era defined by technological process, we have witnessed a rapid increase in our reliance on digital devices and platforms, and in turn, an alarming increase in the global digital footprint. Inspired by last Saturday's National Clean Up Day, IDA launched a digital clean up challenge in our offices.

Did you know that a staggering 281 billion emails are sent around the globe each year? This contributes to a total emission of 900 million tons of CO2, generated by the internet and its supporting systems annually. IDA strives towards a more sustainable future for all, and these numbers demand action from everyone.

Elevating Environmental Responsibility through ISO14001

In our commitment to our Environmental Management System (ISO14001 certified) we evaluated and acknowledged the environmental impact of our digital activities and made a plan to continuously improve. This year, as we set a baseline for our carbon footprint (of all our activities), we're also turning our focus toelectronic devices (and their energy use), our online activities and cloud storage, and taking deliberate steps to minimise our environmental footprint.

About the challenge

The IDA Digital Clean-up Challenge consists of different aspects. By implementing sustainable practices and raising (and keeping) awareness among our staff, we're on a mission to reduce our digital footprint. Some examples include:

  • Awareness: Our challenge aims to enlighten our team about the significance of their digital choices: making thoughtful decisions on what data is essential to retain and remove (or preferably, even prevented if it is unnecessary).
  • Get rid of duplicates: We emphasise that important documents are stored in shared folders so they can be removed from personal folders, and not sent as attachments in emails.
  • Inbox hygiene: Besides that, we also urge all employees to embark on an inbox cleaning mission - as they are often the vaults of communication and bulky files of the past!
  • Prevent digital waste: Getting rid of and unsubscribing from those unwanted newsletters is just one of the steps one can take.


Measuring progress

Together with our IT colleagues, we set a baseline measurement of our storage capacity, which includes mailboxes, servers and (shared) folders. This will give us a starting point to track progress from. As data storage often only increases, our team members will continuously remind our staff of the impact of our digital activities, and handing them tools to ease digital decluttering.

We strive to change their digital behaviour so they might also even implement those in their personal lives. Together, we can make an impact, one digital footprint at a time.