Questioning the digital reflex

Xavier Verne, IT expert, Lean ICT project, Shift Project
Digital plays a double-edged role in humanity’s quest for the ecological transition that will ensure its continued existence.


As a standalone industry, digital uses massive amounts of hard-to-recycle resources and energy. As an industry that services other sectors of the economy, digital can be a driver of massive savings in resource use and CO2 emissions, providing enough thought goes into ensuring it is used in the most appropriate and effective ways. Otherwise the rebound effect is inevitable, leading to huge increases in direct and indirect CO2 emissions. Questions and best practices are now emerging that help make sure digital is part of the solution not the problem, and that it contributes to a more sustainable future.

An article from the next issue of the Veolia Institute's Review - FACTS Reports to be published soon.

Faced with the limitations of our linear production and consumption model and the historical waste management system, the transition to a circular economy has become a necessity. This transformation requires significant changes in behavior on the part of actors (companies, consumers/citizens), which public policies must encourage. An innovative and job-creating circular economy will scale up at the company level, as well as within larger ecosystems, thanks to new business models.

In partnership with the Scientific Management Centre at the Mines ParisTech academy, the Veolia Institute is preparing the next issue of its review FACTS Reports, to be published in the summer of 2021, on the theme of "Industries and waste: on the road to the circular economy". This issue, coordinated by Franck Aggeri, Joël Ntsondé and Helen Micheaux, will bring together some fifteen contributions from researchers, international organizations, local authorities, associations and companies.

The Veolia Institute conducts foresight work on issues at the crossroads of the environment and society. Through conferences, a review and forward-looking working groups, the Veolia Institute brings together and disseminates the experience and expertise of various players to offer a wide perspective on major environmental and societal issues.
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