Thought Piece

Digital is still good

If you’ve done as much research as us, or even just read the news, you're likely aware of the damage that digital tools and services can pose to the environment. Armed with this knowledge, you’d be forgiven for asking why a digital design studio like ours would launch a platform specifically to highlight how bad digital can be for our planet. If we’d thought along the same lines as this, the chances are good that we would have changed our service offering within the first two weeks of our research. But, as with everything, there are two sides to this story, and ultimately we love what we do, and would prefer to be amongst the sparks that ignite a change within the industry, than tap out now and miss the opportunity. After all, digital solutions are an integrated part of our world now, so what could be more valuable than educating others about how to change it for the benefit of future generations.

We’re at a crucial point in defining the long-term use of digital solutions. Currently, only around 60% of the world's population have access to the internet, and already the CO2 output is equal to that of the entire airline industry. Accounting for population growth, increased connectivity, and new technologies, those emissions are only going to increase.

Our goal isn’t to stop people from using the internet, but rather to reduce the cost we incur when we go online. We want to educate people about the impact digital has on the environment, and the role it will play in the looming climate crisis. With Sustainable Digital Design, want to begin a dialogue that will spark change within our industry and inspire the businesses within it to think and act in cleaner, more environmentally-conscious ways.

If you think about it, the digital world already does a lot of good that we take for granted. Thanks to digital tools and services, we've seen:

  • A reduction in the number of journeys via train, plane, and car as people increasingly work from home and host their meetings online,

  • Increased access to resources, education, and information on almost every topic imaginable, allowing access to education and knowledge at unprecedented levels,

  • A decrease in the demand for paper and printed products (and by extension the shipping of those products) as people turn to digital documents and books.

Even through the most recent lockdowns, we saw these benefits as schools and businesses once again retreated to the home with little disruption in efficiency, but a sizeable reduction in the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions.

We truly believe that the digital world can be designed and developed in a cleaner, more sustainable way. So this is our pledge to you and our planet, that we will do our part to learn, educate, and share resources about how to reduce the impact of our industry on our beautiful earth. We will use this platform to achieve this mission and openly share resources.

    Written by Joanna Overton

    18 March 2022