Will has a background in engineering, where he gained experience engaging communities in the planning, design and management of large infrastructure projects. Since chairing the South Australian chapter of Engineers Without Borders, he has cultivated a passion for the environmental, social and governance issues that influence the business agenda. Using his analytical and data-heavy background, complemented by an MSc Sustainability from Nottingham University Business School, Will offers a practical, data-driven approach to complex sustainability issues without neglecting the need for meaningful communication.
The LoCaT Project's report on the energy consumption of different methods of watching TV released Report
The LoCaT project’s study has been released and we are thrilled to have been a part of this significant project, bringing together broadcasters from across Europe to analyse the energy consumption of different methods of watching TV – antennas, Freeview boxes, satellites and online apps.
We developed our own approach, in collaboration with leading academics in this area. We are pleased that the findings from our independent methodology was aligned with other studies in this area, whilst also providing some unique perspectives. We are very proud to have been a part of it and are excited to finally share the findings with you!
The bottom line is that, for individual viewers, the emissions per hour across all viewing methods are still quite small when compared with other every day activities like driving to the shops. When you’re comparing delivery methods of TV content, the many-to-one distribution of terrestrial TV comes out most efficient when compared to linear TV distributed over the internet. What’s still to be explored is the consequential effects of significant increase in internet traffic from viewing TV will affect the internet energy consumption in the longer-term.
Carbon Trust white paper Report
The Carbon Trust have released a white paper on the carbon impact of video streaming. This publication is an important milestone for DIMPACT, a collaborative project run by Carnstone with the University of Bristol to help the digital media industry map and manage its carbon impacts.
The study estimates the average carbon footprint in Europe per hour of video streaming is approximately 55gCO2e, equivalent to boiling an average electric kettle three times.
It also shows that the viewing devices are responsible for the largest part of the overall carbon footprint. For example, the footprint of watching on a 50-inch TV is shown to be roughly 4.5 times that of watching on a laptop, and roughly 90 times that of watching on a smartphone.
The new Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations produced a flood of data in April 2018. Carnstone has sifted through it to provide like-for-like comparisons for the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. Which companies have the highest gaps in their sector and which the lowest? Who has the most equal pay in the FTSE 100? Which sectors are most equal and which least? This Review sets the data out simply and comparably to form an essential reference document for this first year’s disclosures.
William in our news section…
Major streaming companies join Carnstone’s pioneering initiative
- 09 February 2021
- Netflix, BT and Cambridge University Press have signed up to fully operational DIMPACT tool.
- DIMPACT now fully operational, covering digital media streaming, publishing, advertising services and business intelligence.
- Plans to develop scenarios capability and expand coverage to gaming and music streaming.
- New DIMPACT participants BT, Cambridge University Press and Netflix, to join our founding participants, with more to join in 2021.
- White paper to validate the underlying model and establish the carbon impact of media streaming due in the spring.
DIMPACT is a pioneering initiative to help the digital media industry map and manage its carbon impacts. Computer science researchers from the University of Bristol have completed a 12-month pilot phase, working closely with sustainability and technology teams at leading media companies to move the DIMPACT web app beyond proof of concept, with a clear path for further development.
Recent years have seen a surge in companies setting Net Zero targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, including many of the DIMPACT participants. DIMPACT was borne out of this movement as the first serious collaboration to create a tool that takes the complexity out of measuring the carbon emissions of digital products and services.
Launched in 2019 and facilitated by sustainability experts Carnstone, DIMPACT is backed by some of the world’s most innovative media companies and the world-class researchers at the University of Bristol. Three new companies have recently joined the initiative, namely BT, Cambridge University Press and Netflix.
Participating companies now have a working tool to understand their ‘downstream’ carbon impacts, right through to the end-user. DIMPACT has successfully created four modules covering digital video streaming, publishing, advertising services, and business intelligence, with gaming and music streaming modules next on the agenda.
To date, the tool has been used for reporting purposes, helping participants understand where the emissions hotspots are in their digital value chains. The next step is to develop the ability to model different scenarios, enabling technology teams to work with companies across the value chain to lower overall emissions. Such is the promise of DIMPACT that it has been awarded a major research commercialisation grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC).
Recognising that the carbon impact of streaming media content is the subject of competing claims and much discussion, DIMPACT has engaged the Carbon Trust for an independent validation of the model underpinning the tool and to establish the carbon impact of media streaming. The findings will be published in a white paper in the spring.
“When we started in 2019, there was some uncertainty about whether it would even be possible to create a web tool for the digital media industry. Fast forward to today and not only do we have a working tool, but we also have an engaged group of companies and big plans for the future,” says Christian Toennesen, DIMPACT’s initiator and product manager.
“It is rare to see an initiative that combines cutting-edge academic research with real-world impacts to such a degree as DIMPACT. We have seen our research and modelling skills translated into meaningful results for a whole industry. We expect this technology to go far, as we have only just started. Internationalisation, forecasting, validation and increasing the scope are the focus areas that will drive the next phase of development,” adds Dr Daniel Schien from Bristol’s Department of Computer Science.
BT, Cambridge University Press, and Netflix join our founding DIMPACT participants BBC, dentsu international, Informa, ITV, Pearson, RELX, Schibsted and Sky.
Media companies join forces to create pioneering carbon measurement tool
- 15 January 2020
Carnstone and nine leading media companies, with technical support from Bristol University’s Department of Computer Science, have together launched DIMPACT – a new collaboration to map the carbon impacts of digital value chains.
The 12-month collaboration will see computer science researchers from the University of Bristol working with sustainability and technology teams at the BBC, Dentsu Aegis Network, Informa, ITV, Pearson, RELX, Schibsted, Sky and TalkTalk to map the carbon hotspots of digital media content and services. The aim is to create an online carbon calculator, DIMPACT, available to any company offering digital products and services.
“The RELX story is one of successful digital transformation. In 2006, nearly half of our revenue came from print products. Today print accounts for less than 10% of revenue. It was easier to understand the environmental impacts of traditional print (including the sourcing and processing of papers, chemicals and energy used in production, and fuels for distribution). The impact of digital media has proven more challenging to understand and quantify, but it’s something we need to do if we are going to manage this important aspect of our environmental impact,” says Dr Márcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility, RELX.
Mapping the carbon footprint of digital services like advertising, publishing and broadcasting is difficult because the underlying technological systems are hugely complex and constantly shifting. Media content passes through content delivery networks, data centres, web infrastructure and user devices, to name just a few, with each element of the delivery chain having different owners.
With climate change high on the agenda, DIMPACT will allow participating companies to understand their ‘downstream’ carbon impacts, right through to the end user. This, in turn, will enable more informed decision-making to reduce the overall carbon footprint of digital services.
This is the first serious collaborative attempt to create a tool that takes the complexity out of calculating digital carbon emissions, backed by some of the world’s most innovative media companies and the world-class researchers at the University of Bristol. The eventual tool will help the industry overall understand and manage the carbon impact of digital media.
“We know that more and more of our interactions happen online, and screens play an ever more important role in our lives. We can say with absolute certainty that the digital economy will continue to grow. What we don’t know is how those modes of digital consumption translate into carbon impacts and where the ‘hotspots’ reside. DIMPACT will change that,” says Christian Toennesen, DIMPACT’s initiator and product manager.
“Given the overall size of the carbon footprint of the digital media sector, it is important that companies assess and report their impacts. By doing so, they can identify the carbon savings that can be made by alternative design decisions, and hopefully find ways to reduce their overall footprint,” adds Dr Dan Schien from Bristol’s Department of Computer Science. “We are excited to leverage our existing research strengths to help create a ground-breaking tool with real world applications.”
“Being a responsible and sustainable media group, Schibsted is on a mission to fully understand and manage our environmental impacts. To this effect, we consider it imperative to develop a robust and accurate understanding of the carbon footprint of our digital products and services. We’re delighted to contribute to the success of this exciting and important project. We hope that DIMPACT will result in an easy-to-use tool, acting as a standard calculation method for all relevant companies to use. Ultimately, we aim to use this understanding to reduce our carbon footprint by changing the design of our future products and services,” concludes Britt Nilsen, Head of Sustainability at Schibsted.
Following a successful kick-off meeting in 2019, the DIMPACT project partners have started developing the underlying model and initiated user experience research. The collaboration is open to other big media companies with significant digital operations.
Introducing Everyone's Business
We have been working with M&S, Next, Pentland Brands and Sainsbury’s to develop a new responsible sourcing app, Everyone's Business.
The simple smartphone app prompts users – those visiting supplier sites regularly, such as merchandisers, quality managers and buyers – to spot the signs of potential ethical trade issues when they’re out visiting sites. Users’ observations are captured within the app, which are then sent to the their ethical trade team, who can use this information to take action, manage risks and inform decision making.
Whilst there are dedicated in-house teams devoted to helping suppliers provide decent working conditions and respect human rights, technical and commercial staff visit these suppliers’ sites more frequently. As such, they are in a position to help identify where there may be issues, and engage with suppliers.
Everyone’s Business helps to reinforce training on responsible sourcing, and equips all staff who visit sites with the tools to contribute to the brands’ sustainability agenda.
To find out more about the app, please contact Will Pickett.