All things considered

Approaching the mid-point of the year usually means things are in full swing for businesses, including The Lens, which would normally be on the road with meetings, events and interviews.

With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting nearly every aspect of life, we’ve all had to learn how to adjust and do things differently and more than ever before, digitally. The natural extension of the pandemic is to ask: what impact is the lockdown having on global carbon emissions? The climate and habitability of our planet is, after all, the other major crisis facing us.

As we spend more time than ever before indoors, Sky News reports that residential emissions are up by 20% while the airline industry is in freefall.

That makes for good reading, right?

Things are not as straightforward as they seem. For example, as we travel less and work from home more, what is the equal and opposite reaction when it comes to emissions?

Robeco, released a sustainability report at the end of April 2020 which, frankly, challenges our assumptions.

“The internet and its infrastructure now constitute one of the biggest offenders when it comes to carbon footprint. Its sheer growth over the past two decades means the total CO2 emissions generated by the production of electricity needed to power electronic devices and transmit data is equivalent to the global airline industry,” the Rotterdam-based asset manager noted.

To make real progress in slashing global carbon emissions it takes an all things considered approach, including the emissions of our digital footprint, to avoid a reincarnation of the same issue.