Suggestions for assessing our carbon footprint

Suggestions for assessing our carbon footprint

English   •   27 février 2020

Every one of our consumer actions has an impact on the environment and contributes to carbon emissions into the atmosphere. We all agree that global warming is not yet under control and that we must act to reduce our own emissions.

However, our first tendency is frequently to hide our face as well. It is very tempting to be selective in the way we view our impact. Beyond transportation, we are still very poorly equipped to produce an objective estimate, because the evaluation tools are still lacking.

So, where do we start?

La première chose à faire pour savoir ce que l’on peut accomplir à notre échelle est de mesurer notre impact. À ce titre, je trouve que l’effort du Monde pour mesurer l’impact de sa production vidéo sur l’environnement est un excellent exemple.

The project is summarized in the article "How 'Le Monde' tracks down and reduces the carbon footprint of its videos" (In French). Le Monde has developed a grid to estimate the carbon impact of each report with the help of a few simple input keys.

For the moment, the method focuses on the production phase of the video report, including both the impact of the transport used to make the report and the electricity used to film and edit the video. In the end, the carbon impact depends mainly on the type of transportation used. Using plane or car counts for a large part in the impact of the videos. On the basis of these findings, Le Monde can thus optimize its reporting rules to limit their environmental impact.

To provide transparent communications to its readers, the carbon impact is mentioned at the end of the video.

Le Monde's approach is replicable to other fields. As managers of IT companies, it is our duty to adopt a similar approach to :

  • Determine the overall carbon footprint of online service platforms and communicate it to users.
  • Assess each user's share of this consumption to enable them to evaluate their use.
  • To engage in a continuous improvement process and explain the gains achieved.

This exercise in carbon assessment, traceability, corporate accountability and transparency needs to become more widespread to enable us, as consumers, to make informed choices. We are still in the early phases of awaking and ProcessOne is proud to be involved in the development of a methodology to measure the carbon impact of online services.

It now remains to generalize such transparency practices. If Le Monde has done it, surely we can all make it happen.

And you, are you going to convince your company to implement this carbon transparency?