Did you know that ‘the internet’, or more precisely the data centres and data networks that are used to store and process our online data, is responsible for about 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions?1 That’s the same as 50% of the emissions produced by the entire aviation industry.2

So, whilst many of us might consider alternatives to flying, think deeply about how we can consume environmentally mindful diets, or just turn the heating down a bit… how often do we consider the impact of how we save and manage our data? Sexy? Perhaps not. Important? Certainly.

According to the International Environment Agency, data centres and networks emitted 330 megatons of CO2 in 2020, and that number is expected to rise as our demand for data grows.3 With over 300 stores, nearly 15,000 colleagues and millions of website visitors, the way we handle vast amounts of data here at Currys is particularly important when considered through this lens.

That’s one of the drivers behind a new “data quarantining” initiative started by our Chief Data Officer, Susie Moan, and her team of Data Governance Managers Chris Theobald and Debbie Smith. Their mission is simple: to free-up 130 TB (terabytes) of online storage space, currently occupied by unused files over seven+ years old.

In doing so, these files no longer being saved on online shared folders will save an entire tonne of CO2 emissions each year – reducing our upstream - scope 3 carbon emissions, marks an important part of our, but represents a valuable reduction in its own right. One tonne of CO2 emissions would equate to the emissions produced by a typical petrol-powered car driving 2,500 miles, or in Currys-friendly terms, a mobile phone being charged a staggering 120,000 times.4

“Our work to become a net zero retailer by 2040 spans many, many different carbon reduction initiatives. Instinctively, you think about how we are making our stores more efficient through implementing more efficient heating systems, or the electrification of our fleet, with an increasing proportion of our delivery vans made up by electric- or alternative fuel- powered vehicles.

But the small actions, alongside these bigger picture projects, do add up. As a data team, we are well aware of how much energy is required to host the vast amounts of information required to run a business like ours, and we’re proud that the responsible way we look after it also contributes to Currys' wider carbon reduction goals

Susie Moan Chief Data Officer

For further information on our carbon reduction efforts and our journey towards Net Zero emissions, visit our Sustainability hub here.

1 https://www.iea.org/energy-system/buildings/data-centres-and-data-transmission-networks

2   https://www.iea.org/energy-system/transport/aviation

3  https://www.iea.org/energy-system/buildings/data-centres-and-data-transmission-networks

4 https://www.edenseven.co.uk/what-does-a-tonne-of-co2-look-like#:~:text=For%20example%2C%20one%20tonne%20of,500%20litres%20of%20Diesel%20consumed