What a year! If you would have asked me twelve months ago what my predictions were for 2020 I would have definitely not guessed most of what actually happened. But hey; here we are now, one year later after celebrating DD’s 15th birthday. There will be no party this year given our times, but we most certainly need to acknowledge our many achievements.
And one simple way to do that is by putting pen to paper some of the key moments and successes we think are worth sharing with you.
One thing I might have gotten right was the prediction that ‘purpose’ should be the top tech trend in 2020. Among 5G, AI and Automation, advanced data analytics, there’s one other major trend that should have been on your list this year: human engagement.
For Digital Detox, this is more than a trend; it represents the first of our company’s three pillars: People, the Planet, and Technology.
At DD, humanity is key to the future of work, whilst technology is just the means not the goal, used as a vehicle to better the people and planet. That’s why we’ve put together some blogs, where we talk about our approach of putting people first, including human-centred digital design, employee happiness, profit with purpose, as well as company culture in a remote environment.
And we couldn’t be more proud and happy to find out that we’ve been shortlisted not for one, but two UK Employee Experience Awards under the Health and Wellbeing and Team of the Year categories. This was recently followed by another people award - we’ve been named as a finalist in the Best Employer for Benefits category as part of the Women in Tech Employer Awards.
As a humanity-led agency that believes in a world where technology and humanity work in perfect harmony, health and wellbeing isn’t so much an initiative as simply the way we conduct our business, and it’s proudly led from the top. Maintaining the health, wellness and happiness of our team is one of our five company goals - to ‘improve our team fulfilment, work-life balance and overall happiness’.
Being humanity-led, we also recognise the impact our company and wider industry has on the environment, and our responsibility to take action in the fight against climate change.
That’s why we have partnered with The Planet Mark to calculate and reduce our carbon footprint. More sustainable lifestyles and businesses are essential in the fight against climate change and at Digital Detox we are the advocates of tech with purpose, which reinforces solving problems facing people and the planet using digital technology.
Whilst our carbon footprint may be relatively small, our impact can be large through talking and educating our network about the carbon footprint of digital and how to reduce it. We are also using our digital skills and experience to develop new ways to report, manage and reduce emissions. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 epidemic, now more than ever it’s about building back better, smarter and more sustainably.
In our efforts to bring sustainability to digital, we have founded The Green Report; the tool to track, control and cut digital waste within large organisations. In fact, our first partnership with Vodafone saved the equivalent of driving 200,000 miles in the car and ~$1million opex in just four weeks.
But we also work the other way around, bringing digital to sustainability, partnering with businesses, charities and communities who protect our world. You can see that in the likes of our work with MARINElife in using tech to help save the dolphins, and you can also see that in the forestry world. Our work with Brainforest has connected investors with global and sustainable forestry projects through an intuitive online platform.
We’ve also recently partnered with human behaviour experts, LAB Group, to build a Carbon Data Engine that automatically monitors travel data and converts it, providing near real-time carbon visibility for companies. It surfaces emissions data from the data already within companies’ existing systems and allows them to link it to productivity, profitability, and environmental policies. But, crucially, it will also provide targeted behavioural interventions that promote CO2 reduction. So, watch this space!
Transparency and accountability
We knew that our journey to become more sustainable as a business was not going to be easy, so we wanted to find a way to hold us accountable and to ensure we make change.
That’s why we started a written trail at the beginning of 2020 - our Sustainability Diaries - to document our sustainability journey and remain transparent in this way, taking into account the highs and lows. These diaries alongside our social media voice and our sustainability work have contributed to raising awareness and becoming thought leaders in this space. And we’re also super proud to be nominated as a finalist for The Planet Mark Awards under the Sustainability Transparency category for our diaries series.
If the past few months have taught us one thing, it’s that we do not need to build less technology, but make digital processes better, smarter and more efficient. In a world where the ‘new normal’ seems to be all we can talk about, our dependence on technology and its ability to bring connection and joy cannot go unnoticed.
But what if we brought sustainable technology choices into the conversation earlier? To build, design, manage, create from the ground up in a way that prevents digital pollution, and leads to a more sustainable future.
This is exactly the message we have communicated through our speaking slots at SXSW, CogX, Digital Leaders Week, Barclays, TechStock etc. in our mission to raise awareness and make an impact.
Our goal is to create a home to a community of incredible tech leaders who really care about the future of people, the planet, and of course – technology. That’s why we’ve launched The Detox - the home of the future of work. It’s a newsletter for early adopters who are able to create change within their organisations, for those who are fascinated by the pace of our world, and for individuals who strive for a universe which betters humanity through technology. In case you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here.
This year also saw us working on some large scale digital transformation projects for the likes of Vodafone, CAB, BMI and Unum. We’re proud to have received some amazing client feedback and to have achieved the trusted partner status with most of our clients.
Whilst doing all of this - raising awareness, offering our knowledge and expertise, advising and supporting our community and clients in preventing digital pollution, we carry on doing what we do best: design and develop with sustainability in mind, with the ultimate goal to leverage the latest technology to best service humanity, sustainability and growth.