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Big companies aim for digital carbon neutral

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
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Big companies aim for digital carbon neutral

Posted on June 24, 2021

The harmful effects of digital technology on the planet are very real.Photo: iStock

More and more large digital companies are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Internet data that comes from streaming sites, in particular, would generate as much pollution on a global scale as commercial aviation. Therefore, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and many other companies are interested in the carbon-neutral web approach.

It’s a good idea from a marketing point of view, addressing Louis Baumer, executive director of the Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montreal.

We may reduce the power consumption to load the page, but that’s not what will make a big difference., continued.

For the expert, who is very critical of this initiative by the web giants, it is not the power consumption of computer servers that is the problem: The production of equipment constitutes above all this whole network, and we must think of all pollution upstream and downstream.

« It looks a bit like green wash to me. »

Louis Pommier, Executive Director of the Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montreal

He points out that the investments needed by the government to decarbonize economies, especially in infrastructure, are very important.

If these companies really wanted to work for the environment, if they had a real sense of collective responsibility, they would agree to pay their fair share of taxes to facilitate these investments., He says.

With information from Dennis Duchesne.

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