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It may not be immediately visible, but our digital lives create substantial carbon footprints. One way to reduce that impact? Take anything that no longer serves a purpose offline. French energy company Dalkia is leading the way by adding expiry dates to its social media posts.
The hashtag #dld — short for 'date limite de disponibilité' — is followed by a month to indicate when a post will disappear. On August 31st, for example, Dalkia's social media team will delete everything tagged #dldsep.
Dalkia isn't foisting the responsibility for carbon-conscious behavior on consumers. In addition to tagging its own posts with #dld, the company redesigned its website for lower energy consumption. From reducing the number and size of images and videos on each page to switching from seven to two servers (and shutting down one of the two every evening and weekend), the new site uses 64% less energy than its precursor.
As Dalkia's CEO, Sylvie Jéhanno, explains: "When we use the internet, we are not really aware of the energy consumed by what we read, watch or listen to — despite the fact that the digital world accounts for 4% of global greenhouse gases—more than air travel! We decided to design our site sustainably, in line with Dalkia's business lines, to take collective action and perhaps inspire others to do the same."
(And yes, we at TrendWatching are acutely aware that we need to lower our own carbon footprint, too...)
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