Report: Better computing habits could reduce CO2 and fight global warming

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A new report from Nextthink found that organizations have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 695 kilograms of CO2 per week simply by educating workers on smart computing habits and eliminating high-emitting applications.

Creating a more sustainable work environment is a top priority for businesses today, but while many CSR initiatives focus on reducing single-use plastic and eliminating paper waste, they neglect massive emissions that their hardware and digital activities produce every day. For example, of the 3.5 million computers analyzed, 34% took an average of more than five minutes to fully load. This waiting time equates to approximately 450 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Simple things like ensuring software is up-to-date, shutting down laptops when not in use, and removing non-essential apps can go a long way to reducing emissions and saving organizations money.

The report draws attention to a common trend among companies to replace hardware every few years, regardless of ease of use. The research revealed that 20% of the devices analyzed were still working and did not need to be replaced. And of the 80% that had a low performance score, only 2% were unrecoverable, while the remaining 98% could be fixed with a simple RAM upgrade or by optimizing startup performance. Companies that choose to focus on these small fixes are saving millions and helping solve the global e-waste problem.

Computer startup time is also an important factor that needs to be considered. Surprisingly, devices that take more than five minutes to charge produce more than 450 tons of CO2 emissions per year, or the equivalent of 50,636 gallons of gasoline. This waste can be avoided with better visibility into employee device health, a clear understanding of user habits, and taking a more proactive approach to common IT issues.

Overall, a lack of understanding of employee computing habits results in higher emissions output and slower computing speeds. The research found that collectively, gaming, personal communication and media streaming apps generate 33 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. To put that into perspective, it would take 300 trees a year to absorb those emissions.

The report focused on data collected from 3.5 million anonymized devices to explore how IT managers around the world can reduce their organization’s environmental footprint and costs while improving the employee experience. .

Read it full report by Nexthink.

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Teresa H. Sadler