Following engagements announced by world leaders at Cop21 and more recently Cop26 summit, the non-profit association "Entertainment Pact" supports the Entertainment Pact petition, a shared commitment between scientists, NGOs and artists to addressing the environmental issues resulting from the hyper-growth of the digital sector.
In the context of the Covid-19 health crisis, throughout the globe we have witnessed a acceleration of our dependency on digital, whether it be in consumption of entertainment and cultural content, organization of the workforce, finance, and even social interaction.
The digital sector relies on a complex physical infrastructure of data centers. The exponential growth of the sector is set to make it the biggest single Greenhouse Gas polluter in the near future.
The Entertainment Pact Association pledges to support a wide rang of research programs including data flow optimization, data center cooling and e-waste solutions.
Our top level research university and tech partners are with us on the path to actionable and sustainable solutions.
Why is it urgent to make the digital sector sustainable?
• The use of online constitutes up to 7% of global electricity consumption, with around half of this consumed by data centers.
• The pandemic might well have pushed that up, with traffic volumes soaring in 2020.
• The exponential growth of the sector is set to be incompatible with the Cop21 and Cop26 emissions targets.
• Given components' short lifespan, expansion of the digital infrastructure significantly increases mining of rare earth materials. Refinement requires large amounts of corrosive acids and carcinogenic chemicals, while releasing radioactive materials from the earth’s core. Processing one ton of rare earth metals produces about 2,000 tons of toxic waste.
• Research finds only 17.4% of e-waste produced in 2019 reached formal management or recycling facilities. The rest was illegally dumped, overwhelmingly in low- or middle-income countries, where it is recycled by informal workers.
• Innovative research into data center cooling systems, data flows, network efficiency, renewable energy and eco-design will be key in making the digital sector sustainable.