Reducing our digital footprint
Published on 2023-03-16 14:42:14Sustainability

Reducing our digital footprint


Amsterdam, 16 March 2023 – This Saturday is Digital Cleanup Day (March 18). Digital Cleanup Day is an annual event that encourages people to declutter their digital lives and promote sustainability. With the rise of technology, we have become increasingly reliant on digital devices and platforms, leading to a surge in electronic waste (e-waste) and a growing global digital carbon footprint.

As IDA strives towards a more sustainable future for all, in line with our Environmental Management System (ISO14001) we have evaluated and acknowledged the environmental impact of our digital activities. This year, as we set a baseline for our carbon footprint (of all our activities), we also consider the use of electronic devices, our online activities and cloud storage, and are taking steps to improve in this area with our environmental footprint in mind.

Motivating our employees to declutter

The workplace is one of the areas where digital clutter is most prevalent, with employees using multiple devices, accounts, and communication channels. Therefore we see creating awareness on days such as Digital Cleanup Day as an opportunity to encourage our employees to take stock of their digital habits and to adopt more sustainable behaviour. We hope that our staff will also apply these habits in their personal lives to minimise their digital footprint.

Minimising e-waste

In the past years we have donated large numbers of electronic equipment (think of monitors, laptops, keyboards and many other items) that was not being used anymore to a local community initiative. By donating and repurposing devices we reduced our amount of e-waste, thereby contributing to a more circular approach to the use of electronic devices. Read more about these donation initiatives here.

Reduce energy use of our website

Other than that, our marketing team also investigated the energy consumption of our website. By  reducing image sizes, introducing page numbers (so not all pages have to be loaded) and finetuning content, we make our website more efficient, and improve the carbon footprint of our website. In the coming year we will continue this process by further streamlining pages on our website, and even deleting some of them permanently.

By implementing sustainable practices and raising awareness among our staff we hope to reduce our digital footprint and have a positive impact on the environment. So this Cleanup Day let’s all do our part and clean up our digital lives! We have gathered key tips and tricks from Digital Cleanup Day to lower our digital footprint:

  1. Delete Unnecessary Emails and Files: Emails and files that are no longer necessary contribute to digital clutter, and having too many of them can slow down devices and increase energy usage. Encouraging employees to delete unnecessary emails and files can help reduce digital clutter and improve device performance.
  1. Organise and Streamline Digital Platforms: Employees often use multiple digital platforms to communicate and collaborate, which can lead to confusion and inefficiency. We promote sustainability by streamlining digital platforms and tools, ensuring that our employees have access to the ones that are most effective and reducing the need for redundant platforms.
  1. Implement Sustainable Device Policies: Electronic devices are a significant source of e-waste and energy consumption. We promote sustainability by implementing policies for device use, such as encouraging employees to use energy-saving settings and turning off devices when not in use. In addition to that we choose to recycle and repurpose devices when they are no longer needed.
  1. Prioritise Digital Security: Digital security is an important aspect of sustainability, as data breaches and cyber-attacks can lead to significant environmental damage. We prioritise digital security by implementing strong passwords, educating employees on phishing scams, and investing in security software.
  1. Encourage Sustainable Communication Practices: Communication practices such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing can contribute to digital clutter and energy consumption. Encouraging sustainable communication practices such as using low-energy video conferencing tools, limiting unnecessary messaging, and sharing files in a sustainable way can help reduce the environmental impact of digital communication.