Been meaning to cover this for a few days, but Rob Robinson wrote a terrific article about “the green equation” as it pertains to ESG & eDiscovery.
His post on his terrific ComplexDiscovery site (The Green Equation: How ESG and Green Computing May Boost the eDiscovery Bottom Line, available here) is one of the most comprehensive and digestible articles about Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and why it’s important, including the benefits of ESG.
Of particular note is Rob’s discussion of how “green computing” fits in to ESG. As he states:
“Green computing, an aspect of sustainability, is a rapidly emerging field. It focuses on designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems with minimal environmental impact. Green computing looks beyond immediate financial gains, considering the total lifecycle cost of a product, including its energy consumption, operational expenses, and environmental impact.”
Diving deeper into green computing, Rob gets into green coding and green resource management, as follows:
“Green coding, for instance, is a practice that seeks to reduce the environmental footprint of software development. By following environmentally friendly coding practices, developers can create more energy-efficient software that uses fewer resources, thereby contributing to the overall sustainability goals of the organization. Businesses adopting green coding can reduce operational costs while demonstrating a commitment to environmental stewardship, enhancing their brand reputation.
In addition to green coding, sustainable data management techniques can significantly contribute to an organization’s green computing efforts. Efficient data management techniques can minimize the environmental impact of storing, processing, and transferring data, leading to reduced energy consumption and lower carbon emissions. Further, adopting these techniques can enhance operational efficiency and provide cost-saving benefits.
Green resource management in computing, another crucial aspect, involves optimizing resource usage within computing environments, including hardware, software, and energy resources. This approach can significantly reduce an organization’s environmental footprint while saving operational costs.”
Guess what technology isn’t always as “green” as it could be? Artificial Intelligence. As this article from Thomson Reuters notes: “Training artificial intelligence is a highly energy-intensive process” and “Recent estimates from academics suggest that the carbon footprint from training a single AI is 284 tons, equivalent to five times the lifetime emissions of the average car.”
I’m not saying AI can’t be ESG friendly, but ESG and green computing may help keep AI tech environmentally friendly, which is a good thing.
Rob’s article discusses much more about “the green equation”, including the cost of doing nothing when it comes to ESG programs and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at the heart of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all UN Member States in 2015. It’s a terrific thorough discussion of ESG, sustainability, green computing and more. Check it out here!
So, what do you think? What green computing and sustainability programs does your organization have to promote ESG? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.