New year, new horizons. Better ones.
Did you get the chance to watch the film #DontLookup?
Over the last couple of weeks the hashtag gone viral in social. Many seem to have been deeply touched by its contents. Some have been aware and actively trying to be part of the solution for some time. Some are seeing the changes to the natural world occur at their very door steps.
It does make one think.
Personally I think the biggest chasm we need to cross is from :
So, I decided to go on a quest. Over the past two years, I have been researching and speaking with companies that have made important shifts to progress their sustainability efforts. I did this so that I can learn, and so that I can share with the community.
What does this mean to us? What can we do as Salesforce professionals? How to make the difference in the work that we do?
Salesforce even has a product to help measure and optimise companies’ footprints to help your organisation to achieve ‘carbon neutrality’. Although I argue the aim is not mere neutrality as we must generate a surplus.
Such applications can be helpful to measure and adjust, for sure!
Change starts from within and we must tackle the problem at source in everything we do.
Did you know that: “The internet consumes a lot of electricity. 416.2TWh per year to be precise. To give you some perspective, that’s more than the entire United Kingdom.”
And that’s only the internet! Think of all the other related energy items required to support the work we do, as well as the users of our applications. At quite a high level, websites use electricity in data centres, telecoms networks, and end user devices.
I was recently part of an executive programme with Cambridge University on Circular Economy. Much of the concept of Circular Economy aims to reduce waste, keeping energy and materials in use as long as possible, understanding that economics is an invented system to (theoretically) deal with the efficient allocation of scarce resources.
Now, if we correlate that idea of efficiency mostly in our daily work we hear it in the context of one single variable: Time. That’s rather narrow.
As a Salesforce professional I invite you to ‘look up’ and look beyond to other variables such as:
For example, how can we reduce processing?
How can you streamline processes to avoid consuming so much energy?
How can you present relevant information without saving it in the database?
How can you leverage concepts such as Unit of Work for leaner transactions?
Just recently on a project by asking questions we have managed to reduce complexity, effort and processing (and therefore time to prod); it was related to a files integration and the need (or not) to fetch and map each data value from PDFs into records.
Think also about UX (User Experience), at its core UX is there to reduce resistance and friction from your users, helping them find relevant items without spending too much time and resources on an application. This will improve adoption and user experience, and does also reduce the energy consumed.
How about the images and videos that we use, these files are the largest contributors to page weight across the internet. The more data that needs to be transferred, the more “energy hungry” pages become – this also applies to our Salesforce applications and integrations.
And there are many more, I don’t want to narrow too much your view with examples. Think about everything from simplifying data structures, applying Unit of Work concept, the KISS principle… Also think about transport is all forms that move (to and from) people, product and the things we use: from flights, cars, vans, buses, rail… How can we reduce it, which energy it consumes. Acting more local whilst thinking globally.
Even talking about it is important, as it normalises it and stops such discussions being ‘taboo’, delivering more and better options. Talking to the people around you is a powerful way to lift the subject, to extend its reach and make better things happen.
We are in a moment in history where we have the data, we know well the consequences if we don’t act, we have the skills, knowledge, technology, influence… to make a difference.
Past generations haven’t had all of these.
Future ones won’t have the timing.
It’s a pivotal time. We can make a dent, we can be part of the solution.
There is a better way to do business. (That’s why I wrote this book.)