Back in 2018, the Institut du Numérique Responsable (The Institute for Responsible Digital Activities which operates in France, Belgium and Switzerland) created the “responsible digital charter.” Any company can decide to implement it to gain a better overview of the actions that need to be taken to move towards more sustainable digital activities. By inviting companies to think about the environmental issues related to their digital consumption, the charter fuels a collective debate – debate that then makes it possible to take action on a large scale, through a systemic approach.
This charter makes it easier to reflect on an energy policy aimed at reducing digital pollution, while representing the values of companies that adapt to the challenges of tomorrow – that is, developing sustainable services, limiting environmental impact, committing to ethical digital technology, and encouraging responsible behaviors and values.
With this aim in mind, the Cyber World CleanUp Day was created in 2020. A day dedicated to raising awareness around the environmental impact of digital technology, it happens every year in March. The initiative encourages people to delete unnecessary data and to offer a second life to old devices. In 2023, the French initiative will change its name to Digital CleanUp Day, to mark its international scope. Being part of a working group can also help organizations make decisions around their energy policy. In 2021, 27 major French groups concerned about the challenges of tomorrow (including Michelin and EDF) set up Les Collectifs – a federation that aims to raise awareness towards environmental issues among all companies.
The goal is to bring about a radical change of behaviors to connect business and the ecological transition. In Belgium, Kaya and Ecopreneurs Belgium merged to form Ecopreneur-Kaya, an alliance that aims to implement the regenerative economy within companies – that is to say, a more local “operating system” that improves resilience and reduces energy consumption. In Spain, the CEOE Foundation and the main non-profit organizations involved in e-waste collection launched the Digitalización Sostenible (Sustainable Digitization) campaign in January 2021. Their mission is to collect computers and tablets from companies across the country before reconditioning them and donating them to people who can’t afford such purchases.