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The Environmental Impact of Digital Technology – A Cyprus Perspective

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Digitisation = Sustainable?

Digitisation = Sustainable? As we increasingly use technology in our lives, moving to digitization of services and processes, it often easy to mistake this shift as an environmentally friendly process[1]. This, however, is not always the case. The internet, email, and social media in general give people the chance to access and share information faster and easier with others throughout the world. It is vital to remember however that all this takes energy and energy requires the use of some form of fuel. Hence, we need to assess the impact this energy use has on our environment and how to decrease it.

The sustainability conundrum

It is necessary to assess each sector’s environmental footprint in order to promote a green and sustainable digital world[2]. Organisations like EAVI (European Association for Viewers Interests), through the collaboration with associations like ICFFCY and CCMC in Cyprus, promote awareness of our digital footprint and ways we can control the “trail” of data we leave behind[3].

To continue, through the Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) the Cypriot government aims to focus resources on the reform and development of certain sectors for the delivery of an economic growth that has a negative impact on the environment, to prevent Cyprus’ contribution to the carbon footprint[4].

With the need for a green transition, it is important to remember the impact that the digital world can have on the world, with energy expenditures increasing and as a result, heavier reliance on fossil fuel usage. Therefore, another crucial factor, that is needed to be considered when moving towards digital transformation, are ways to move towards alternative, sustainable sources of energy to reduce our carbon footprint.

Third Sector and digital footprint: Although it is evident that companies such as Cyta[5] and PwC[6] and governmental organisations are pushing for a green and sustainable digital transformation for Cyprus with their alignment to the SDGs of the UN and collaborating with the EU’s Green Deal initiatives, it is also important to focus on Third Sector organisations and how they can contribute to this transformation.

The LeaderSEEDS project aims to provide guidance on how to successfully navigate this climate of sustainable digital transformation with the creation of a Digital Leadership Development Training Programme and a Digital Leadership Centre, as well as a Digital Literacy Module, educating them in vital skills and providing training to further achieve their goals. It is vital for the Cypriot Third Sector to align their mission with green sustainable digital transformation as it will allow the sector to promote growth and profit alongside the other sectors.

[1] Javier Canales Luna, The Environmental Impact of Digital Technologies and Data, (published March 2023, last accessed 07/04/2023) [2] Ibid [3], Are you aware of your Digital Footprint, (last accessed 07/04/2023) [4], Cyprus RRP 2021-2026,$file/Cyprus%20RRP%20For%20Upload%2020052021.pdf [5] Paul Lambis, Cyta: Allying with technology, we earn sustainability, (published 26/02/2022, last accessed 07/04/2023) [6] Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, A long-term strategy for sustainable growth for Cyprus, (June 2021)


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