7. Environment

Digital technologies support the protection of natural resources by providing greater transparency and efficiency

Desirable Future

In the future, digital technologies will be intensively used to protect the planet’s resources and improve human’s natural environment. With software, sensors, open data and other means, more transparency will be achieved on issues that are important for people and the planet: from CO2 imprints, noise emissions and waste, to production chains, information on ingredients and the recycling of products.

Digitalization is used to save as many natural resources as possible. This happens in consumption through the shift to dematerialized products (e.g. streaming instead of using CDs), more local origin, increased sharing and secondary use of items all the way to clarity about energy consumption. People have found an environmentally friendly way of dealing with the easily available consumption, transport and travel options. Thereby, digitalization reinforces the impact of higher prices for non-renewable resources.

In production, care is taken in all sectors to ensure that as few non-renewable resources as possible are used and that as little environmental damage as possible is caused – including in the manufacture of mobile phones and computers. [References: 3. Work & Economy, 5. Education, 8. Transport & Mobility]

Specific Projects


Calculates my CO2 footprint and shows ways to reduce it.


Notifications on city cleanliness (e.g. Dortmund).


Pumpimumpe promotes sharing and neighborhood.

Green Digital City Toolkit

Supports cities in their environmental and digital agendas.

Next Farming

Digital tools for agriculture – less fertilizer, less cost.


Generate, store and feed decentralized power.

Recommendations for Action

  • Companies: Consider environmental aspects in digitalization projects.
  • Policies/NGOs: Demand or create transparency on resource use.
  • Policy: Take environmental aspects into account in all digitalization projects to be funded.
  • Individual: Use information possibilities, know resource consumption.

Suitable Indicators

  • CO2 emissions per inhabitant and year: DE 9.5t (2016; SE 4.5t)
  • Electro waste per inhabitant per year: DE 23kg (2016; KR 13kg)
  • Did you use online information on environmental topics last month? Yes/No