The purpose of this manifesto is to formalize the values and objectives that underlie the Boavizta working group, as well as the terms of participation between the various members of the working group.
Vision and objectives of the working group
Digital technology has a heavy impact on the environment
Climate change and its consequences are one of the major challenges of our century and pose crucial risks for the future of the human species on Earth, as well as for many other species; the absence of actions aimed at reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions now will undoubtedly have dramatic consequences on the health, well-being and even survival of all or part of the human population. Yet the digital sector is the fastest growing of all greenhouse gas emitting sectors; it could reach at least 6% of total GHG emissions in 2025.
Apart from the climate issue, the digital industry is responsible for a large part of the exploitation of non-renewable natural resources, in particular certain rare-earth elements; in addition to the risks of resource shortages that the growing consumption of IT equipment poses, the manufacture of this same equipment has highly negative environmental and social impacts throughout the value chain: pollution of natural environments, depletion of water reserves, destruction of biodiversity, illegal labor of childs, exposure of workers to toxic substances, and armed conflicts linked to the control of resources.
The members of the Boavizta working group recognize the importance of the environmental and human impacts of the digital sector and the need to act to limit these impacts as quickly as possible, particularly in light of the extremely rapid growth in equipment and usage. They have therefore set themselves the goal of developing solutions that will enable any organization to manage and reduce the environmental and social impact of its use of digital technology.
Objectives of the working group
The members of the Boavizta working group hope that within a few years, all organizations will have implemented a system to monitor and reduce the environmental and social impacts of their digital footprint, particularly in terms of GHG emissions and the use of non-renewable natural resources.
To this end, their mission includes:
- to promote the sharing of data, methodologies and non-confidential tools concerning the evaluation and management of the environmental impacts of IT systems
- to federate and connect the actors of the ecosystem (private companies, academia, associations...) around the evvaluation and reduction of impacts;
- to contribute to the development of data, methodologies and open and common reference tools concerning the management of these impacts;
- to help members in the operational implementation of impact evaluation and management approaches.
How to participate
Participation in the Boavizta working group is based on a number of values shared by all members, including:
- sharing of data, tools and ideas ;
- scientific rigor;
- the desire to obtain concrete results and a tangible impact;
- trust and cooperation between the different actors of the working group
To properly address those issues and these values, members recognize that:
- one of the objectives of the working group is to develop open source tools, methodologies and reference data that can be used by all actors in the digital domain, whether they are directly involved in the working group or not;
- the data, tools and ideas shared by the members of the working group will therefore be considered by default as freely usable and shareable; it is therefore up to the members to indicate, if necessary, the confidential or restricted nature of the shared elements;
- their priority is to contribute to the creation of common resources that can be used by the greatest number of people and possibly to benefit from priority access to them, but in no case to use the working group to solicit other members commercially or to communicate publicly about their positive action towards the environment;
- the open source nature of the data, tools and methodologies developed during the working group is not contradictory with the provision, by members who wish to do so, of paid services such as auditing, consulting or coaching using these data, tools and methodologies.
Membership, workstreams & involvement
Upon application, the candidate receives the charter and a questionnaire. He/she is then interviewed by two members of the working group to qualify the compatibility of the candidate with the reason to exist, the values, the methodology of the working group, and his/her potential contributions. A few days later, the candidate receives feedback. If the candidate is accepted, he or she signs the charter and joins the working group.
Members are invited to participate to the bi-monthly meeting dedicated to the progress of the working group / streams, and to presentations by experts. Members are also invited to contribute to or lead the workstreams (see below). They can trigger ad-hoc meetings to progress on the workstreams they belong to. They can also communicate via the Microsoft Teams collaboration tool available to them (chat, video-conferencing, office automation, storage).
The workstreams of the working group are (non exhaustive list):
- Methodologies to evaluate the environmental impact of digital services
- Build and maintain an open dataset with impact factors for various IT equipments and components
- Software development to evaluate the environmental impact of digital services
- Internal / external watch, strategic studies / documentation
- Elements of conviction of the top management, sensitization / training to the evaluation of the environmental impact of digital companies
- Support to projects / implementations (mutual aid)
Members are asked to commit to a minimum participation in the working group. This participation can be of several kinds: recurring reflection/participation time, business insights, methodology, data, code/software, hosting, audience/visibility, endowments/funding, etc.
Regarding participation in the form of a recurring time of reflection/participation, an approximation of the time you could spend per role would be:
- Member : 1h per week
- Stream Contributor : From 2h to 4h per week
- Stream leader : From 4h à 1 day per week
Of course, the level of participation may change over time depending on the availability of the member or the evolution of the work sites.