When it comes to climate protection, digitization inevitably comes into play. On the one hand, digitally available data reduces paper consumption and thus protects forests and nature. On the other hand, the operation and cooling of large server centers consume enormous amounts of energy. The formula for a better environmental balance is therefore, not only from a data protection perspective, data minimization plus increased use of renewable energy resources.
This calculation can work out if companies act responsibly when storing their digital data. Unfortunately, the trend shows something else. Worldwide, companies archive approx. 52% of data whose content and value they do not know. This senseless hoarding of data waste, also known as "dark data", not only ties up storage resources unnecessarily, but also causes CO2 emissions in the millions.
According to a recently published study by the American company Veritas Technologies, in 2020 alone 5.8 million tons of CO2 will be produced due to stored Dark Data. To symbolize this figure, this value corresponds to the amount emitted by 80 individual countries per year. Analysts expect this figure to increase fourfold within the next four years. This will be accompanied by an increase in the amount of energy needed to supply the infrastructure with electricity. Climate protection looks different.
So what can we do?
Every individual and every company can make a contribution. If, for example, data management automatically included a quarterly check or deletion of senselessly stored data, this would already be a first step in the right direction.
Our experience at REISSWOLF has shown that companies that switch from analogue to digital make a targeted selection of which data and documents they really still need and therefore digitise, archive in analogue form or even put them directly into data and document destruction.
If you are not sure which criteria you should use for selection, please contact us. We will be happy to advise you.