Digital transformation is presented both as an engine of economic growth and as an ally of the "ecological transition" because of its potential for dematerialization and optimization of other sectors (transportation, building, agriculture, energy, industry, etc.).
But digital systems are also synonymous of the fragility of interconnected systems, accelerated societal transformations, and pollution.
When we evaluate the entire life cycle (CO2 emissions, pollution linked to resource extraction, manufacturing, and end-of-life management, etc.), the environmental impact of digital technologies is considerable and growing rapidly , .
The constant optimization of digital infrastructures (Moore’s and Koomey’s laws) is not succeeding in reducing this impact. It is even possible that, as a rebound effect, improvements in infrastructures could be the cause of the intensification and diversification of uses, leading to the multiplication and increasing complexity of systems.
These same advances in digital performance are also enabling us to improve our knowledge of man’s impact on the planet, through the use of digital models, but also by raising awareness through the dissemination of results.
ETICS studies the role and use of digital technology in the environmental crisis, focusing on three areas in connection with the skills of the laboratory: