Do More, Waste Less: An EcoInternet Index that Measures the Carbon Impact of the Internet
05/17/2022

The pilot study of the EcoInternet Index project is now complete and the report published online at https://ecointernet.asia.

Online PR News – 17-May-2022 – Hong Kong – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest decline in global emissions of carbon dioxide was observed, and at the same time there has been a global surge in Internet use. With funding by Heinrich Boell Stiftung Hong Kong and support from APNIC Foundation, DotAsia has kicked off the EcoInternet research project in 2021 to consider the carbon footprint of the Internet and its impact on the environment and climate change. The pilot study is now complete and the report published online at https://ecointernet.asia.

This report introduces a multi-dimensional scalable framework for an EcoInternet Index (EII) which will allow comparative studies between the large and small countries and jurisdictions. The research investigated the relationships among the Economical effects brought by the Internet, the Energy powering the Internet and the Efficiency of the Internet infrastructure. The model provides a composite index that allows for the comparison of the eco-friendliness of the Internet infrastructure between large and small regions. The pilot study focused on 6 jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific region, but the methodology can be applied globally.

On September 28, 2021, a session titled “Critical times: Impact of Digitalization on Climate Change” was held at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF: https://www.aprigf.asia). An expert panel from Asia Pacific participated in a discussion on the preliminary results of the research, and considered policy recommendations and actions different stakeholders around the world will need to collaborate on immediately in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and an eco-friendly Internet. The playback video of the APrIGF session can be viewed here: https://igf.asia/eii-aprigf2021-video.

Another session was held on December 10, 2021 at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF), in Katowice, Poland. The panel discussed from a global perspective how smart grids and shareable resources can contribute to a more energy-efficient Internet, and highlighted that although the Internet has an exponential increase in carbon footprint, we need to consider the benefits from the way it replaces traditional activities which have even greater environmental impact. The playback video of the IGF session can be viewed here: https://igf.asia/eii-igf2021-video.

The outcomes of the EcoInternet project were promoted through the digital character Ajitora (https://ajitora.asia), a virtual influencer who has been advocating for regenerative sustainability between the ecology, the economy and the Internet for Asia since 2016 when the United Nations SDGs were put into action. A series of social media posts and 2 explanatory videos were released to highlight some of the findings in the research: .
Video on become more carbon conscious with the booming digitalisation nowadays: https://i.go.asia/EcoInternet_CarbonConscious
Video on better utilisation of the capacity of the Internet network infrastructure:
https://i.go.asia/EcoInternet_NetworkCapacity

In conclusion, the goal of EcoInternet project is to foster carbon-consciousness in the extensive use of the Internet, with the narrative “Do More, Waste Less”: doing more with the Internet, becoming more efficient with its use, and promoting the use of renewable energy sources to power the Internet. We are at a critical time for digital communities to reflect on and monitor the expansion of the Internet, connecting with carbon footprint initiatives to develop concepts, tools and Internet governance policies, in order to tackle climate change and recovery plans. There is a strong need to increase awareness and proactivity among policymakers and developers and it is crucial to urge governments and industries to prioritize the imperatives of climate change and environmental sustainability in future planning. Effective measures by multiple sectors on curbing digital carbon footprint are necessary to make a difference at a global scale. The EcoInternet Index is designed to model and measure this work.

About DotAsia Organisation: DotAsia Organisation is a not-for-profit, community membership-based organization headquartered in Hong Kong. We are the Registry Operator for the .Asia top-level-domain (TLD) – the designated web address for Asia and Asian communities worldwide.

About Ajitora: Ajitora is a PR character of DotAsia. Inspired by tigers’ symbolic meanings for sustainable development and a collaborative Asia, the Ajitora movement is not only about tigers, but about bringing awareness of how we are all connected. Ajitora represents the focal point of a multidimensional approach to support Asia tigers, bringing together stakeholders contributing to technologies, policies and public awareness.

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