Earth Day is the necessary reminder that we have to make good on our promises to never stop investing in our planet. A prosperous future doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes commitment and collaboration to get there. We began our own sustainability journey by assembling a passionate team of Sustainability.Monks, who pour their heart and soul into making our organization and work greener every day. Aligning our company values, three pillars form the foundation of our sustainability strategy: Zero Impact Workspaces; Sustainable Work; and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In other words, we take care of our home and household, our work and clients, and ourselves and each other. This holistic approach answers both the needs of our clients, who are on a similar mission to tackle climate change and reduce emissions, and those of consumers, 91% of whom want brands to demonstrate how they are taking environmental action. Moreover, this approach feeds back into our goal to win the decade.
What does this mission mean to us? It’s not just about being a Digital Partner of Record and delivering top-notch productions and services, but also prioritizing our responsibility to take care of our people and the planet. In light of this, our Labs.Monks have spent weeks creating a comprehensive report on sustainable production. With its results-oriented mindset, this R&D team plugs into categories across the business to help them understand and tap into emerging technology. Next to tackling and testing new innovations, the Labs.Monks consistently deliver fresh, exciting and delightful experiences that push the boundaries of what is possible—including sustainability goals.
So, the team poses a pivotal question: how can we reduce our digital carbon footprint? The Labs.Monks share their ideas, processes and guidelines with one main goal in mind: inspiring others to help make digital greener. If you haven’t read the Sustainable Production Report yet, here are some insights into key challenges and chances to get you started.
To Make Great Strides, Measure Environmental Impact
On the road to achieving sustainability goals, what’s currently blocking our way? While raised awareness around digital carbon footprints is a step in the right direction, companies need to become more transparent. This ties into a fundamental challenge that the industry, Media.Monks included, is facing: the current lack of reliably accurate, coordinated carbon calculators is clouding our understanding of progress. We know that digital developments around the world are increasingly power-hungry, but how much more energy do they require? Though there are various carbon calculators out there—such as Audits.Digital, GreenFrame, Carbon Trust—these are all based upon different criteria and thus often produce completely different results, making it difficult for businesses to calculate their carbon footprint and determine if they are meeting sustainability guidelines.
So, we need to develop a coherent and coordinated carbon calculator that is endorsed and used by every company in the industry in order to create standardized outcomes in measuring and comparing environmental impact. Much like all marketing and business efforts, it’s basically impossible to gauge whether your business is on track to reach its targets or not without reliable data measurement instruments—and this is no different when it comes to sustainability efforts. In turn, implementing such tools and practices helps increase transparency around the digital industry’s environmental impact and lead the way towards a more sustainable future, because progress starts with tracking where you are now.
Designing The Sustainable Future
While establishing benchmarks for measuring the environmental impact of the digital industry is still a work in progress, we already know certain practices that will help reduce your company’s digital carbon footprint. Sharing success stories, best practices and lessons learned with other players in the industry is the key to effective collaboration—and let’s face it, you can’t save the planet by yourself. So, in the spirit of spreading the word, let’s shine a spotlight on one important opportunity that the digital industry should collectively seize: we are in the unique position to design and develop products and platforms with sustainability at their heart.
The decisions that companies make during the production process ultimately influence consumer behavior. As such, these decisions do not only impact their own digital carbon footprint, but people’s global carbon footprint in general. As such, we should always be on the lookout for changes in the production process that are more sustainable to provide environmentally friendly options that people had otherwise not thought of choosing.
Whether it’s through converting in-person meetings into digital events to reduce the need for gas-guzzling business travel or incorporating QR codes on products to direct customers to digital user guides instead of printed materials, the digital industry has the power to inspire people to make more sustainable choices.
For example, our Film.Monks now focus on green filmmaking, actively tackling the issue that film production uses a lot of energy and generates tonnes of waste. Besides switching to renewables to power the studio grid and replacing diesel generators with hybrid and solar solutions, they are working on providing clients with additional ‘greener’ services, think of impact reporting, strategies to determine mutual sustainability KPIs, and storytelling around a client’s sustainability efforts. Such initiatives not only inspire people to go for a greener alternative, but also increase awareness around the importance of meeting sustainability goals.
In short, there are multiple roads to becoming a more sustainable business. When you follow the right directions—raising awareness, being transparent about carbon footprint, making ethical decisions—it stimulates other companies across the value chain to speed up their own sustainability journey.
Caring For The Planet, A True Collective Effort
The digital revolution has left major positive imprints on our planet—and it continues to give rise to new ideas, innovations and opportunities every day. While there are very real concerns about the carbon footprint of our industry, we believe that sustainability goals shouldn’t have to slow down the digital revolution, but can instead become part of it. Teams across the board are not only working hard on developing and adopting more sustainable technologies, but also on translating these into useful guidelines for the digital industry. While we’re still figuring out how to best measure our progress, the Sustainable Production Report is an important step in the right direction, as it echoes our commitment to being transparent, sharing knowledge and fostering effective collaboration. Above all, it emphasizes our belief that altogether we can take care of our planet.
Interested in learning more about sustainable production? Read the 30th report by our Labs.Monks to gain a more in-depth understanding of the challenges and considerations.
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