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Digital Data Clean-Up – Reducing data waste together with the CDR Initiative

20. Apr 2023 - Announcement

The CDR Initiative's Digital Data Clean-Up will take place in September 2023. The joint campaign aims to inspire employees in companies and other organisations to clean up digitally and support them in doing so. The office of the CDR Initiative offers support with the implementation and is happy to welcome further participants.

What is the Digital Data Clean-Up?

Digital Data Clean-Up is a joint campaign organised by various companies as part of the CDR Initiative. The aim of the campaign is to inspire employees in companies and other organisations to clean up their data on hard drives, network drives, in email inboxes and in the cloud and to support them in doing so.

Why should you take part?

It is estimated that there are 550 exabytes of data in the cloud worldwide. 1 An unimaginable amount. Moreover, it is assumed that more than 333 billion emails are sent and received worldwide every day in 2022. 2 Looking at Germany, emissions from the production and use of digital devices and services such as computers and smartphones, as well as the data transfers generated by these devices, caused around 49.5 million tonnes of CO2eq. This amount corresponds to approximately 7% of total emissions in Germany in 2022. 3

We want to counteract this trend and delete superfluous data or avoid the creation of new data. With our campaign, we want to raise awareness among employees and strengthen the sense of community.

Overall, the initiative has not only positive effects on the environment and climate but also on costs. Because storage space costs money. And (digital) tidying up also ensures a clearer mind, strengthening mental health.

When does the Digital Data Clean-Up take place?

The campaign period is from 11 September to 22 September 2023.

How does the Digital Data Clean-Up work?

The implementation of the campaign itself is the responsibility of the companies and other organisations and can be designed in a modular and flexible way. The participating organisations are supported by the CDR Initiative office by providing materials for preparation and implementation. These include, for example

  • Templates for tutorials and checklists for self-use
  • Concept for organising your own participatory calls with employees
  • Content for newsletter articles or quizzes
  • Construction kit for collecting employee feedback

Who can take part?

The more participants we gain, the better!

Our invitation to participate is open to all interested companies and organisations that want to join their employees in the fight against data waste on their hard drives and in the cloud. It doesn't matter which industry you come from or whether you only have a handful of employees or are a large corporation. The important thing is that you want to make a serious contribution together with us.

Interested? Please contact us until July 31 2023 via email
Office of the CDR Initiative

  1. Exabyte is a large unit for the volume of data. One exabyte corresponds to one billion gigabytes. Buckbee, M. (2020). What Would The Worlds Data Look Like if it Were Physical? Retrieved from: (12.07.2023)
  2. The Radicati Group, Inc. (2021). Email Statistics Report, 2021-2025. Retrieved from, S. 2-3. (12.07.2023)
  3. The total of all CO2 emissions for the production and use of digital devices and services in Germany is 739 kilograms per person per year, see Gröger (2020). Digital CO2 footprint. Data collection for estimating production costs, energy consumption and use of digital devices and services, p. 32. Retrieved from: (12.07.2023). The number of online users in 2022 was around 67 million people see ARD/ZDF Online Study (2023). Development of online usage in Germany 1997 to 2022. Retrieved from: (12.07.2023). For the year 2022, total emissions of 746 million tonnes of CO2e were reported in Germany see Federal Environment Agency (2023). Treibhausgas-Emissionen in Deutschland. Retrieved from: (12.07.2023).

© 2024 Office of the CDR Initiative