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When Green meets Digital

What’s behind the new “European Green Digital Coalition”?

On 19 March 2021, two initiatives emerged as part of the Digital Day hosted by the EU Commission. The online event saw commitments made by European States in a joint declaration, and by 26 large international companies through the creation of the “European Green Digital Coalition” (EGDC). In the context of the EU Green Deal and the EU’s digital strategy, their focus is the increasing interactions between the environmental and digital spheres, with two objectives: Reducing the ICT sector’s environmental footprint (2% of global greenhouse gas emissions); and enabling digital solutions in other priority sectors such as mobility, energy and industry, in order to help reduce global emissions by up to 15%.

The 26 companies undertake to pledge to reach climate neutrality by no later than 2040. Commitments also include increased disclosure, sharing best practices as well as building common methodologies and indicators. By using non-binding tools rather than legislative tools, the Commission hopes to enable rapid innovation. For companies across Europe and beyond, the EGDC questions how climate targets can be achieved while leveraging digital solutions. This requires both innovative contractual solutions and close monitoring of increasingly stringent environmental legislation across the EU.