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The challenges of global warming and the environmental impact of our daily life have changed the ways many companies design and implement their business strategies. While economic success and the efficient achievement of business goals are still the top priority, efforts to reduce the company’s ecological footprint are becoming increasingly important – not only for the company’s own sense of responsibility, but also as an economic factor. Because a company brand will be measured on its sustainable positioning by a community of increasingly environmentally conscious consumers.
As digital circular economy experts, we have made it our mission with SynoptiCons to support industries and consumers on their way to a sustainable future. On the one hand, by providing innovative eco-friendly IT solutions and on the other hand by optimising our own processes and ways of collaboration. One part of this sustainable approach is our focus on Green Computing practices.
What is Green Computing?
The term Green Computing stands for resource-saving technology use. We are working with information technology on a daily basis. The amount of data that we are pushing from one point to another every day has reached volumes that were unimaginable just a few years ago. As consumers, we expect flawless connections and high-speed transfer of information. And we rarely think about the enormous energy consumption for these services.
Green Computing includes all IT solutions that combine technological progress with environmentally responsible measures. In a world where information and communication technologies are at the core of our society, reducing the carbon footprint of IT operations is an indispensable step towards a functioning circular economy.
The different applications of Green Computing
While the theoretical concept of Green Computing and the need to develop eco-efficient technologies and products will be plausible for most, the practical implementation needs to be strategic and well thought out. The fields of applications of Green Computing are numerous.
Organisations that implement Green Computing methods often rely on energy-efficient central processing units (CPUs), servers and other IT equipment. Another focus point is the proper disposal of electronic waste. Companies can also positively influence their energy demand and climate impact by reducing the on-premises infrastructure to the absolute minimum, for example by deconstructing their hardware.
It starts with the choice of the right providers, continues with the optimisation of the systems in use and ends with a sustainable IT landscape and green coding, which is another environmentally sustainable practice that minimises the energy required for the processing of code lines.
The ecological impact of Green Computing
According to a Bitkom study, the energy demand of data centres and smaller IT installations in Germany alone has increased from 11 to 16 kilowatt hours per year between 2010 and 2020. The Journal of Cleaner Production predicts that the electricity use by computer centres will increase to account for more than 14% of all emissions globally by 2040.
The implementation of Green Computing approaches has the potential to reduce this growing ecological impact while still being able to further develop useful and innovative technologies.
Green Computing at SynoptiCons
With our tech teams at SynoptiCons, we take several different measures to minimise our carbon emissions. “In all our projects, we reduce the size of the content to be loaded”, explains our experienced Software Engineer Jost Künzel. “This means that we rely on reduced file sizes and the use of modern light file formats such as WebP and Avif. Another simple step to make a big difference is that we link to video platforms instead of embedding the videos.”
Jost and his colleagues collaborate in optimising the energy consumption of every website hosted and developed by SynoptiCons. “On top of that, we use green, carbon-sensitive providers and build our services on serverless infrastructures instead of physical hardware.”
But it is not only the complex technical measures that are saving energy. At SynoptiCons we also value the small things that every individual can take into account – whether in our professional environment or our private life. “We try to avoid Google searches for navigation but go directly to the desired website. In general, we don’t use Google but rely on sustainable search engines like Ecosia”, says Jost. Thinking of “digital declutter” and “digital cleanup” is also in our DNA.
When we are working with digital tools, we always ensure responsible and optimised handling – we delete what is no longer needed and create/duplicate only what is really necessary. With our hardware, we are always looking to extend the usage period to as long as possible and when it is time for a replacement, we consider refurbished or more sustainable hardware such as Fairphones or Framework laptops.
Customers of SynoptiCons can always rely on sustainable technologies
We value a high standard when it comes to sustainable technologies. This applies both to our own processes and to the solutions we develop for our customers. Our CEO Martin Wieser is proud to say that every organisation working with SynoptiCons can rely on a resource-saving and responsible tech-infrastructure: “We are developing services for customers within an international circular economy. These companies represent a sustainable and eco-friendly business approach and want to be sure that the tools they use hold up to this standard.”
SynoptiCons is part of a group of companies with more than 20 years of experience in international waste management and recycling solutions. Many of the services we develop are being used by our sister companies – for example Producer Responsibility Organisations such as Reclay or Léko. “Our standards are high, no matter if we are creating solutions for our associated group members or external clients”, says Martin. “In the end, all of us have to do their part to really make a difference. A strategic green IT approach is one of the ways in which we are living up to our responsibility.”