The French are increasingly connected but attentive to their digital environmental footprint

The French are increasingly connected but attentive to their digital

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    Digital equipment continues to spread among the French population, who nevertheless say they are attentive to their digital environmental footprint, according to the results of the Digital Barometer published on Tuesday.

    The share of the population declaring that they have a smartphone has stabilized in 2023 at a high level (87%), according to the annual study carried out by Arcep, the telecoms regulator, with the General Economic Council ( CGE) and the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ANCT), in partnership with Crédoc (Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions).

    This study was carried out among a representative sample of the French population of 4,267 people aged 12 and over, interviewed by telephone and online.

    Among smartphone owners, 85% say they use it to browse the internet (+3 points compared to 2022), 80% to send messages using applications offering this service (+1 point) and 73% to make calls via applications (+4 points).

    Unsurprisingly, text and voice communications services are massively adopted by younger generations, with 94% of 12-17 year olds reporting using instant messaging services.

    At the same time, more recent digital equipment continues to spread, with 37% of respondents having at least one connected object (home automation, electronics, health, security) and 29% a connected speaker (+2 points compared to 2022). ).

    In 2023, the average per household with a fixed internet connection is more than 10 screens, or around 300 million pieces of digital equipment in mainland France, almost a quarter of which are not used, the study points out.

    However, these uses are increasingly associated with an ecological awareness specific to digital technology, since 80% of people surveyed online say they are taking at least one action to reduce their digital environmental footprint.

    Thus, 75% of French people surveyed seek to reduce the impact by increasing the lifespan of their digital equipment or by limiting their number, while 77% limit the electricity consumption linked to the use of their equipment.

    The purchase of reconditioned smartphones is, however, not cited as a major practice for reducing the environmental footprint, with only 13% of those surveyed deeming it useful to favor the purchase of reconditioned terminals.

    Paradoxically, if there is indeed a priority environmental action in the digital field, it is the reconditioning and purchase of recycled terminals because it is the terminals which are the major source of the environmental impact of digital technology.“, underlined an Arcep manager during a press conference.