November 11, 2021

World Earth Day: Technology's Environmental Problem

We’re all aware of the environmental considerations of household recycling, or choosing a low emission car but how much thought is given to the technology habits which are now interwoven in our everyday life, either at work or at play?

Over recent years, the environmental impact that technology has on the planet has become increasingly acute.

Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated technological change in how we communicate, work and the way we live. With this, our reliance on technology, and the means of powering it, has become ever more apparent.
Every individual or organisation has some level of technology function or relies on one that requires server capacity, computational power, data and media storage.

Looking specifically at the energy consumption of data centres, worldwide data centres consume about 2 percent of electricity, a figure set to reach 8 per cent by 2030. It is also estimated that by 2030, nearly 1/3 of Ireland’s electric consumption will come from data centres alone (Irish Times).

This outlines a need for the entire tech sector to think more sustainably.

The Rise of Sustainable Tech

Over the past 5 years there has been a significant rise in investment funds focusing on Green Tech within the Socially Responsible Investing space running in parallel with government initiatives. The global green technology and sustainability market size was valued at $8.79 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $48.36 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 24.3% from 2020 to 2027.

The rise in public concern around the environment has helped drive Green Tech market growth. IoT and edge computing have contributed to curbing pollution and emissions, reducing exploitation of environmental conservation and surveillance and minimising operational costs and power consumption.

Sustainability as a Requirement 

Enterprise, consumer and media communications are fuelling the exponential demand for video, improved personalisation and relevancy.

This increased demand for billions of views and scalability is now being matched with the essential requirement to reduce carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency. When creating our product and building upon it, a consideration alongside security, scalability and viability is the need to be environmentally sustainable. At VML we believe that this should be an actively considered requirement within all technical builds.

Technology and software organisations need to be more aware of the environmental impact that their solutions have upon the planet. Great work has already been done by large organisations such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon around tracking and reducing their carbon footprint. However, there needs to be continuous focus from the industry as a whole towards considering environmental sustainability just as much as security, scalability and other technical pillars.

Edge Computing 

Edge computing is computing that is done at or near the source of the data, instead of relying on the cloud at a central data centre. One great driver for edge computing is the speed enhancements it offers. Edge computing also reduces energy consumption in networks, by reducing the total amount of data traversing the network. 

By running applications at the edge, data can be processed and stored nearer to devices, rather than relying on data centres that are hundreds of miles away. This could lead to a significant reduction in energy consumption related to network transport, server processing and data storage costs, while also benefiting from low latency that edge provides.

Video on the Edge

At VML Technology, we enable organisations to utilise all internal, customer and sales data to create bespoke, data rich, personalised and contextualised video for each individual viewer. VML enables video to self-optimise to always deliver the most engaging video experience, learning from previous views and interactions. All of this is delivered via the VML Platform at an infinite scale.

Edge computing is what makes this possible. 

The VML Player and language enables video to be rendered on the viewer’s device at the exact time the media is viewed. Removing all need for mass media storage and process intensive computation, VML on the edge uses advanced algorithms to remove almost all environmental impact in the creation of data rich, contextual and interactive video. 

We recognise environmental sustainability is an increasingly important issue for organisations, and that's why we are here to empower organisations to continue to communicate via video utilising environmentally conscious technology. If you require further assistance, feel free to reach out to our team for more information on

To learn more about the future of data rich video, read “The Video Engine of the Future” today.

Chris O'Hanlon
Head of Communications