Sustainability has become a top priority for companies across all industries as the world becomes more aware of the disastrous effects of climate change. Video service providers are no exception; however, they need to identify ways to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste, ensure regulatory compliance, and unlock new business opportunities. In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the environmental impact of video services.
Companies are now seeking sustainable ways to deliver their services while reducing their carbon footprint, and this is where sustainability analytics comes in. By collecting and analysing data, video services providers can gain insights into their environmental impact and develop strategies to mitigate it.
What is sustainability analytics?
Sustainability analytics is a tool that companies can use to assess their environmental impact, identify areas for improvement, and assess the performance of sustainability initiatives.
Sustainability analytics can use internal and external data sources, allowing video service providers to create a comprehensive view of their impact on the environment. The data collected can help operators understand its carbon footprint and identify the areas that require improvement. They can use the data collected to develop a roadmap for sustainability that will guide their decision-making.
The negative environmental effects of video consumption
Global video streaming is significantly influencing greenhouse gas emissions. According to one research, the sector currently accounts for around 1% of total emissions, which is anticipated to rise by 2025 if no serious action is taken. Due to smaller screen sizes and increased energy use for data processing and transmission through cellular networks, studies have indicated that streaming video on mobile devices produces more CO2 than viewing on a TV. To solve this expanding environmental threat, more awareness and action are required.
In general, video services are primarily delivered over the Internet. The servers that host and deliver these services use large amounts of energy, leading to significant carbon emissions.
Additionally, the waste generated from the production and disposal of electronic devices used for video consumption has a significant negative environmental impact. They can contain hazardous materials that are harmful to the environment and human health.
Agama’s Sustainability Analytics initiative for sustainable video operations
The Sustainability Analytics initiative developed by Agama is an important step in assisting video service providers to understand and reduce their impact on the environment. These tools examine many aspects of a provider’s operations, from the amount of energy used in data centres to the in-home devices.
On a broad level, Sustainability Analytics aims to help video operators in making data-driven choices to reduce their environmental impact. Our goal is to help video service providers evaluate the environmental effect of their services, devices and applications, and identify alternative actions that can influence them. To do this, our initiative analyses consumption indicators in order to give insights into energy use trends and breakdowns over time.
As an example, by looking at the total use of specific services across different types of devices, the energy impact of changing the coding or bitrate can be understood, and thus be part of a structured process to continuously reduce its negative effects on the environment.
Another important aspect is to support tracking and reporting energy use over time for ESG and regulatory compliance. We can track the success of sustainability projects while monitoring real-time energy usage, suggesting areas for improvement, and identifying inefficiencies.
Earlier this year, we made significant progress toward our goal of increasing environmental sustainability within the video streaming industry. In addition to developing our own sustainability analytics tools, we made a strategic decision to join the Greening of Streaming (GoS) organisation. This move reflects our firm commitment to drive real change and support environmentally conscious practices across the industry. As a member of the GoS community, we are joining a dedicated movement of like-minded organisations working to build a more sustainable future for everybody.
Sustainability analytics can also help a company identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement, leading to more efficient operations. Additionally, collecting data on sustainability initiatives can help to track its progress and identify best practices that can be replicated across the industry.
The negative environmental impact of video consumption is an issue that video service providers cannot ignore anymore. As video consumption continues to increase, the need for sustainable methods of delivering video services becomes more urgent. Sustainability analytics tools can help video service providers reduce their environmental impact, increase cost savings, and improve their brand reputation.
We can certainly say that video consumption has a huge environmental effect and cannot be disregarded. As end-users expect more engaging and high-quality video content, video service providers must ensure that their operations are environmentally friendly and sustainable. By adopting sustainability analytics, video service providers can take an active role in safeguarding the environment for future generations.
This opinion piece was published in the IABM Journal Q2 2023 edition
Agama will be presenting its end-to-end video observability and analytics solution at IBC2023, stand 1.C65