The environmental impact of digital products is often hidden from view. I pledge to question the environmental impact every step of the way and reduce our product's overall carbon impact through more efficient and sustainable design and development. I also pledge to question the environmental impact of the products and services we use to make and maintain our product and make sustainability a deciding factor when choosing third-party providers.
I will think about:
- Is the additional complexity in our product worth the extra carbon footprint? What can we simplify to reduce our impact?
- What unused data and functionality can we remove?
- Do we really need new hardware, or can we reuse existing equipment?
- Where can we switch to renewable energy sources?
- Are the products and services we buy a sustainable choice?
- Simplify product functionality to reduce energy consumption by removing unnecessary data collection and processing. Prioritize text over other formats, optimize speed and performance by compressing images and other multimedia assets, minimizing code, and regularly updating all used software.
- Define code and content review processes that will identify and delete obsolete data and code on a regular basis.
- Aim to use hosting and other cloud providers that run on renewable energy while also reducing unnecessary server usage.
- Before buying new products or services, check their carbon impact. When choosing between different options, make sustainability an essential deciding factor. Keep in mind that ad-supported products often come with a higher energy consumption bill that is often hidden from view.
- Prioritize higher quality hardware that is designed to last longer, is easily repairable and highly recyclable, and resist the temptation to upgrade just because a newer version is available.
- Aim to reduce the carbon footprint at the office, including my own home office.
- Reduce unnecessary travel and commute, replace air travel and single-passenger petrol car commutes with more sustainable public transport options or cycling.
- Think hard whether more technologies really is the solution to the problem we’re trying to solve or whether there are better low-tech and low-energy solutions we haven’t considered.
- Measure and periodically review the overall carbon footprint of our entire supply chain and make necessary adjustments.
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