Hidden Emissions

The Invisible Environmental Impact of Digital Technologies

Is it possible for a digital transition to be environmentally friendly? Yes, but we need to be aware of the environmental costs associated with the digital technologies (smartphones, PCs, home sensors) that permeate our daily lives and especially how such technologies work: telecommunications infrastructure and data centres. We are so accustomed to these digital tools that we are blind to their impact on greenhouse gas emissions, electricity consumption, non-renewable resource exploitation, and waste production. This impact often remains unseen because digital businesses have never bothered to avoid or reduce it. This book is for readers who believe that everything involving the Internet and an apparently immaterial world is intrinsically ecological, who care about both the technological and the environmental future of our planet but are also aware that each of these two futures requires the other.

Giovanna Sissa teaches Interdisciplinary Dimension of ICT Environmental Impact at the Doctoral School in Science and Technology for Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Genova.