The level of global video streaming has skyrocketed since the Covid-19 crisis began, with more people staying at home, watching video across all their devices. The carbon footprint of this nonstop viewing isn’t easy to calculate, but it’s fair to say that it’s significant. One aggressive claim cites a six-hour video binge on Netflix as equivalent to burning a liter of fuel. Streaming involves a complex mix of data center capacity and electricity -- both of which produce carbon dioxide, the levels of which vary depending on the technology being used.
When 2020 began, we predicted that the year would not just be “more of the same”. We were thinking in terms of technology, excitedly proclaiming the dawn of 5G and the maturation of edge computing.
In organizations all over the world, sustainability has become a watchword. This may be especially true in the public sector, as governmental and civil sector agencies are often tasked with the responsibility for implementing, overseeing and policing society’s sustainability initiatives. For as much political talk as exists around “government waste”, public sector entities have led the way in introducing sustainable policies, actively seeking ways to be better “green citizens”. Having a duty of care as a steward of the public good, and a responsibility to meet sustainability objectives, public sector agencies, big and small, have made strides in reducing energy consumption, introducing recycling initiatives, implementing green procurement programs and requirements, and so forth.
In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, many things have changed - suddenly. We have seen unprecedented disruption to business, and daily life change in unpredictable, and tragic, ways for most of the world’s population. While the consequences of the virus continue to unfold, their far-reaching effects are undeniable.