At Hounslow there is a strong focus on the green recovery – this across all areas of the Council as part of One Hounslow and the ambition of this can be seen through the roles recently advertised at greenrecoveryjobs.co.uk and the declared climate emergency for Hounslow – Hounslow’s Climate Emergency Action Plan | Climate emergency | London Borough of Hounslow.
Within Digital we are always asking what we can do to support this in addition to the traditional ways through enabling remote and flexible working and moving further workload into the cloud to reduce our local datacentre use.
The work has spanned many areas and links into the work being done around Digital inclusion and the green angle is one that is a key part of the work we do – as IT kit gets increasingly powerful recycling of kit become a more of a reality and not a 2nd class choice and when we needed to supply 750 devices to schools as part of work to address Digital exclusion recently recycled kit was the best choice economically. According to the 2020 Global E-waste Monitor, humans worldwide produced 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste in 2019 and only recycled 17.4% of that waste.
By extending the lifetime of a single laptop from four to seven years, 180 kgCO2e of carbon emissions are avoided. Therefore, this avoided 130,000 kgCO2e equivalent to keeping more than 50 cars off the road. Even considering the energy efficiency of new computers the current benefits of recycling computers and making best use of the carbon invested in their creation far exceeds the benefit from any potential energy efficiency gain from new devices.
Moving forward as part of the general recovery programme for the Council the continued greening of Digital makes both economic and technical sense – work being done includes:
- Widening and improvement of 5G – this fit into the work around Internet of Things in areas such as smart cities and social care needs.
- Linking Digital and infrastructure work needed into areas such as electrical vehicle charging to reduce the need for street works and disruption of traffic in the Borough as traffic levels start to go back to levels last seen in February 2020.
- Ensuring that green options are at the forefront of all work done within Digital to ensure we continue as a Borough to reduce our carbon emissions where at all possible.