Green machines: how workplace tech can save the planet

Bookmark (don’t Google) and delete those archives – a UK digital leaders event chimes with a CDPS project

30 June 2022

Deleting unviewed pages on your website can save energy – and, ultimately, carbon emissions © Unsplash

We’ve heard the green homes mantra. Switch off the lights when you leave a room. Only boil enough water for the cuppas you’ll drink. Keep showers short, and batch-cook while the oven is on.

But what about the workplace? CDPS’s Tech Net Zero (TNZ) discovery is about how smart technology in the public sector can help Wales to cut all carbon emissions by 2050. Some of the sessions during the industry get-together Digital Leaders Week last week had a broader focus: how workplace technology in general can go green.

The TNZ discovery team wanted to share top tips from those green tech sessions with a very similar remit to our own.

Be cool: 10 ways to fight global warming in the workplace

  1. Work out the carbon footprint of your website (using this calculator, for example) to make green content decisions.
  2. Look at your website traffic – could you save page-loading energy by deleting pages with very few views (unless those pages have a specific but still important function)?
  3. Send fewer emails: according to research by OVO Energy, if everyone in the UK sent one less ‘thank you’ email, it could save 16,000 tonnes of carbon a year.
  4. Halving the steps someone takes through a digital service (say, a banking app) can halve the carbon footprint.
  5. Bookmark pages that you use frequently, don’t use search engines (which consume more energy) every time.
  6. Data centres consume about 3% of the world’s electricity – delete unnecessary data and keep archive files, images and videos offline.
  7. Share large files as a download link rather than an email attachment (which will remain unopened by many).
  8. Halving the page ‘weight’ on websites (the amount of data to download) also halves the carbon footprint.
  9. Use WebP image files (a newer, data-light format) rather than .jpeg or .png, and reduce the number of videos and images on websites.
  10. Disconnect your laptop once it’s charged to extend the lifetime of the battery.

(Thanks to Danny Weston, James Cannings and Cory Hughes for letting us share these tips from their Digital Leaders Week talks.)

Find out more about CDPS’s Tech Net Zero discovery in a Digital Leaders talk by Cory Hughes, a director at CDPS’s discovery partner Perago.

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