Digital marketing: what is the Green Code?

Safeguarding the environment is an issue that affects all sectors. The CSR approach, responsible consumption or sustainable development are all terms that designate ethical and ecological practices.

In the field of digital marketing there is what is called the Green Code.

Green Code in web development: where does this term come from?

The Green Code is a code that has been conceived in an ethical and ecological way. To better understand this concept, we must first go back to what a “code” is.

To create software, mobile applications, or websites, developers write thousands of lines of code. The latter are in fact commands, made up of variables, conditions and cycles, which serve to dictate to the program what to do in a given situation. On occasion the development phase and codingthe developers try to give air to the lines as much as possible, adding comments, in order to facilitate the understanding of the code by all contributors.

Sometimes they write code for features that won’t be in the final product, but will be kept on file for reworking. These programs are therefore called “bloatware” or even “obsessive”.

This process generates an increase in digital data and electronic devices (telephones, computers, servers, etc.) consume much more resources to process them. This excessive consumption leads to significant CO2 emissions.

The Green Code or even ecological software design it is therefore the solution that has been put in place to limit the economic, social and environmental impact of digital tools. Among the objectives of this system there is in particular the reduction of lines of code and digital files (images, video, audio, etc.), the reduction of requests between servers and browsers, the limitation of the processing of information, etc.

Different web and mobile application development companylike this Lyon-based web development agency, they have already put the Green Code at the heart of their working methods.

What are the challenges of the Green Code?

According to a study by the Bio Intelligence Services agency, ICT (information and communication technologies) account for around 2% of global CO2 emissions. However, the health crisis caused by the coronavirus has accelerated the digitization of many sectors. More and more infrastructure permitting transmission of computer data are installed in different countries. As a result, the rate of greenhouse gas emissions increases exponentially.

To address this, the government is working with outreach organizations to encourage developers to adopt the green code technique. This does not only concern the optimization of the software under development, but also the updating of old programs deemed “too heavy” and harmful to the environment.

What are the obligations related to the eco-design of the software?

In the field of sustainable development, Law no. 2021-1485 of 15 November 2021 to reduce the ecological impact of digital. This regulation insists on encouraging industry actors (creators, distributors, consumers, etc.) to practice digital sobriety.

On the part of the software creators, this law only prohibits the implementation of codes or programs preventing or making it difficult to repair or refurbish the digital devices they market. In other words, no legal obligation so far prevents them from writing heavy code to gather more data to improve their products.

That said, Read CSR (corporate social responsibility) oblige all employees of an agency to contribute to reducing their carbon footprint. Software publishers are therefore partially obliged to adopt the green code.

Eco-design labels to promote the Green Code

Given the ambiguity of the regulations, many advocacy organizations have been formed to rally digital app creators to the cause of the green code. In particular, they can be websites, software or other computer programs labeled as “eco-designed”. This label certifies compliance with ethical and ecological rules during the design, development and distribution of the product. It is also a real added value in the eyes of consumers who today are motivated by a responsible purchasing policy.

In summary, the digital industry is the source of over 2% of the world’s CO2 emissions. This is a figure that is not destined to decrease with the advent of new technologies. Protecting the planet is an important issue, Practice of the green code is strongly recommended.

Boris Rabilaud
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