Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for Orange group
We’re living with two global crises – climate and confidence – where, like governments and organizations, technology is not always trusted. To counter the concerns that it is useless, harmful for the environment, or damaging to our privacy, how can Orange stay true to its purpose and DNA as a trusted operator and give everyone the keys to a responsible digital world? And how can we ensure digital innovation can be trusted as a positive source of progress for everyone?
I believe two things when it comes to innovation. The first is that it’s essential for meeting major current and future challenges. We can’t ignore the climate crisis, for example, and must innovate to shift to carbon-neutral societies, economies, and uses. The second is that we must rethink the way we innovate, and especially our intention, to ensure everything is designed with a positive impact in mind, for our customers (because innovation only has an impact if it is used) and also for society and the natural world around us.
Of course, it’s imperative we meet our Net Zero Carbon target by 2040. Lengthening the product lifecycle and reducing the amount of consumer electronics manufactured are both priorities because manufacturing comes with the greatest environmental impact, far above data traffic. We can and must develop real digital solutions to reduce CO₂ emissions within other sectors too.
Excluding primary energy production; transport, industry, and construction generate the most carbon emissions. Digital technology can play a role in reducing them. Collaboration apps mean we can reduce business travel. Public transport and logistics networks can be optimized through real-time analytics. Factories of the future will be designed for ecologically sustainable production, including the efficient use of energy and materials. Production lines will be supervised using “computer vision” tools (cameras connected to locally hosted AI) to reduce production defects and improve worker safety. And smart building solutions can reduce energy consumption by 20 to 30% without the need for major renovation.
Even more fundamental is our need to decarbonize our business models, moving from owning the latest tech to reusing and reducing waste, and drastically reducing production volumes. Many digital platforms are making great progress in France and elsewhere including BlablaCar, LeBonCoin, TooGoodToGo, and Vinted. You’ll read more about the innovations we’re supporting in this magazine.
The environmental impact – positive and negative – of our products and services is now being considered from their initial development right through their lifecycle. Indeed, we’re committed to ensuring that all Orange products and services are eco-designed by 2025.
- Momentum: the podcast that takes us back in time in order to better understand how communication technologies have transformed society.