Digital & Technology

Key questions

  • Where can you make more direct changes to reduce your digital and technology impact e.g. choice of devices, how much digital data you generate and store, choice of data storage providers (data centres or cloud services) and hosting services, energy-efficient use of devices, what happens to your waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE)?
  • Where do you need to work with others to make changes e.g. website design and development, digital technology and services providers, staff and audiences?
  • What options do you have for doing more on-line meetings or events instead of in person meetings and conferences, or hybrid events to avoid travel and other impacts of in person meetings and physical events? (Online meetings and events have a much lower impact when replacing meetings for which people would have travelled longer distances, especially by plane.)
  • What options do you have for moving from print publications to online publications and content designed applying sustainability and energy efficiency principles?

Choose devices and hardware which are better for planet and people. Avoid or reduce WEEE. Green your website. Reduce or rationalise digital data volumes. Work with digital service providers committed to environmental good practice.

Top Tips

Physical devices and hardware:

  • When purchasing new devices look at the environmental and ethical credentials of manufacturers and suppliers and the devices they provide e.g. on chemicals, rare earth minerals, workers’ rights, resource and energy efficiency, renewable energy etc.
  • Choose or ask for the most energy efficient options or solutions.
  • Choose or ask for refurbished or remanufactured devices or solutions.
  • Ask suppliers what take back and refurbishment options they offer.
  • Use devices for longer and get them repaired or upgraded before buying new ones. Check out the ifxit repairability rating for smartphones, laptops and tablets.
  • Keep a track of how much WEEE you generate and how this is disposed of.
  • Donate old equipment where possible and dispose of the rest responsibly, using companies with strong ethical and environmental credentials.
  • Work out how much energy your devices and hardware use, and how much this contributes to overall energy use.
  • Introduce good energy practice for use of devices and hardware e.g. standby, eco-mode, shut-down etc.
  • Provide information on good energy practice for home working.


  • Switch to website hosting and servers which run on renewable energy. Check out Supercool’s The Mysteries of Green Web Hosting.
  • Work with agencies or designers with strong environmental credentials or committed to taking positive environmental action and ask them to build in sustainability and energy efficiency principles from the start.
  • Reduce the data load of your website e.g. avoid using lots of video or image content, reduce video and image size, remove unused assets, use darker colours and system fonts.
  • Share and communicate what you are doing to make your website greener.
  • Provide users of your website with information on how they can access and use it in a more energy-efficient way.

Digital data and content:

  • Do a digital declutter and rationalise data volumes (e.g. digital files and archives) stored on servers, in the cloud or data centres, using file-sharing apps or software and on individual computers. Check out Wholegrain Digital’s Digital Declutter for Businesses.
  • Manage your emails more efficiently e.g. update your database regularly, send links in emails rather than attaching large files, delete emails you don’t need and unsubscribe from email newsletters and mailing lists you don’t read.
  • Reduce the digital load of your social media e.g. be succinct, use video, images and GIFs sparingly, share old content.
  • Ask your digital service providers (e.g. data centres, cloud service providers e-learning content or solution providers) what their environmental credentials are, what type of energy their services run on and how they can help you to understand and reduce the impact of the digital content you provide.
  • Share and communicate what you are doing to make reduce the impact of your digital content.
  • Provide those who use your digital content with information on what they can do to access the content in a more energy-efficient way e.g. access on smaller devices, stream via Wi-Fi rather than mobile data, watch in SD rather than HD, lower screen brightness.

Online meetings, events and publications:

  • Look at your options for doing more on-line or hybrid meetings and events instead of in person.
  • Look at your options for moving from print to online publications and content.
  • Ask agencies and designers to build in sustainability and energy efficiency in the design of digital content and publications from the start.

Use search engines with strong ethical or environmental credentials e.g. Ecosia or Ocean Hero.

Digital & Technology


Indoor empty parking lot, with a spider-like tangle of lights
Julie's Bicycle - Environmental Sustainability in the Digital Age of Culture
This report, developed under Arts Council England's Environmental Programme, draws on data, insights and case studies of good practice to support the creative and cultural sector to navigate environmental impacts and opportunities in the emerging digital landscape. It covers: environmental considerations and digital technology’s carbon footprint; data and projections for energy use in the digital industry; good practice case studies from artists and organisations; and recommendations for planning and measuring impact.
Creative Carbon Scotland logo
Creative Carbon Scotland - Guide to your digital carbon footprint
Creative Carbon Scotland’s guide focuses on the sustainability aspects of the broader lifecycle of how we use digital technology in the creative and cultural sector. It covers general resources, physical devices, internet use, good housekeeping, and creative uses of digital and provides examples of good practice from a range of organisations.
The Networked Condition logo
The Networked Condition - Digital Carbon Calculating Tool
This tool was developed in collaboration between Fast Familiar, Abandon Normal Devices and Arts Catalyst, supported by Julie’s Bicycle, with funding under Arts Council England's Environmental Programme. The tool is designed to help anyone who is interested in their carbon footprint and is planning or evaluating a livestreamed event, digital artwork or digital event. It is most useful as a project planning tool, as it helps explore the carbon footprint of different ways of creating and sharing work and to inform how to plan a project. It can also be used at the end of a project, to calculate the carbon footprint.
BFI Film Audience Network - Green Hour Digital Sustainability
Video / Webinar
This webinar looks at the environmental challenges that come with working in a digital context and what steps film exhibitors can take to reduce their digital carbon footprint. The speakers - Alice Bonnot (Environmental Sustainability Specialist, Julie’s Bicycle), Lou Hargreaves (Executive Director, Abandon Normal Devices) and James Coleman (Managing Director, Supercool) - share their insights and experiences on digital sustainability and how to implement greener online practices.
A calculator sitting on top of a piece of paper
Px3 IT Carbon Footprint Application
Px3 provides a range of services to calculate and reduce IT carbon footprint, procurement and utility costs, including a free online application to get started which allows users to generate an average electricity consumption, value and a carbon footprint for end user computing devices (e.g. desktops, monitors etc.).
landscape photography of mountain hit by sun rays
Supercool - How to make your digital engagement activities better for the environment
This guide provides an overview of the impacts of digital technology, what you do to reduce the impact of your website, how to use social media channels in an energy and data efficient way and what steps you can take on emails and computers. It also provides a link to all Supercool green resources on topics from the green hosting and sustainable content creation to sustainable hosting and coding tips and sustainable web design tips.
books piled on brown wooden bookshelf
Theatre Green Book - Digital, Hybrid and Filmed Work
This webpage provides tips and examples on how to green hybrid working, theatre making and distribution. While written for the theatre sector, many of the tips and examples provided are relevant for those working in screen.
Photo of outer space
Fast Familiar - Digital Climate Action Site Builder
This tool was designed to help artists, creatives and small organisations build a low impact, energy efficient and low carbon website.
Collage of art textures
Sustainable Web Design
In this book, Tom Greenwood of Wholegrain Digital offers a practical path to faster, more carbon-efficient websites that are not only better for the planet, but better for users. It looks at how to measure and reduce a website’s environmental impact, designing low-carbon design choices around i.a. imagery, content, colour, development processes that optimise for energy efficiency, hosting and data transfer costs and considerations and what you need to sell sustainable practices in your team or organisation.
Digital film camera stood in front of a window
Sustainable Digitalisation: Ensuring a sustainable digital future for UK film and television
This report by the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, at the University of Cambridge, is a result of collaboration with industry stakeholders and policy makers. It focuses on the environmental and social costs of digitalisation - i.e. the adoption of digital technologies and practices as a business model and practical strategy - in film and tv, and presents pathways towards a more environmentally robust and socially fair digital transition.
pink digital patterns
WHOLEGRAIN Digital - Digital Declutter for Businesses
This toolkit can help organisations identify, measure and reduce their digital carbon footprint, helping them understand how areas such as IT hardware, websites, cloud storage, apps and digital marketing contribute to their carbon footprint.

Digital & Technology


Person in silhouette with flower art
Invisible Flock - The Cost of Innovation: how technical innovation can be supported while focusing on access and ecological action
Solar Panels on roof of brick home
The Networked Condition - Sunlight Doesn't Need a Pipeline Case Study
Digital neon blue lights and flowers artwork
The Networked Condition - Fast Familiar Case Study
Silhouette of three performers on stage
New Adventures Digital Annual Review
Image Credits
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