Author and fotos: Susanne Grohs-von Reichenbach
Susanne’s life changed in a flash on a sunny autumn morning in 2017. What she read in the daily newspaper that day still drives her today. More about that later. She is a digital business innovator, passionate trainer for communication and career and author.
She studied business administration and languages at Goethe University in Frankfurt and in France, developed the first environmental campaign at a Dax company, and took the lead in building new fields both in the social sector and in a digital start-up. In 2019, she founded Think Digital Green®. This is also part of her: she has been married for 30 years and is the mother of two children. She was born in 1963 in the Taunus region near Frankfurt and lives in the somehow sleepy Munich town of Waldperlach.
WHAT DRIVES YOU, SUSANNE?
Probably the idea of using potential for a good future. And that’s what actually happened to me: Professionally, I was concerned with digitization. Then I read in the daily newspaper that there are supposed to be billions of energy- and water-hungry servers in the world. I couldn’t even begin to imagine that. It “clicked”: my data and shiny devices have a material side and leave a huge environmental footprint. And I had never thought about it. But, “Now who’s going to show me how to make it smaller?”, I kept thinking, barely finding answers. And then it was done. I fell in love with the utopian, inner image of a newspaper headline: Digital and sustainable – it’s possible!
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT WITH THE “BRAINSTORM”?
Then came a research phase: reading specialist literature, attending conferences and, above all, asking experts what they already knew about this. One result: data and its ecological footprint are rather a blind spot when we build our digital future. It was important to me that we should not do without any applications such as messenger services. Rather, it’s about using them in a more “CO₂-light” and resource-conscious way. Example: activate data saving mode in social media. In 2019, I founded Think Digital Green®.
OF ALL THINGS: WITH THINK DIGITAL GREEN, OUR DIGITAL EVERYDAY LIFE BECOMES MORE CO2-LIGHT.
My wish is: we will become more and more avoiding tons of unnecessary CO₂. We can already make better use of everyday applications like video conferencing and inspire each other. The beauty of it is: it’s easy. You can contribute to climate change with virtually every click.
Three of us are now working on an openly accessible CO2 calculator: Julian Zöschinger and Gianluca Vasallo, both environmental engineers, are taking part. We know that 70-80% CO2 can be avoided in everyday digital life without going without. That’s highly relevant, because in a year we emit around 1 t of CO2 per person for this alone. It’s impressive how many people take action in a Think Digital Green session when they hear about it. But we also need a lot of research.
So my tumultuous falling in love has turned into a more mature relationship. And the utopia grew into fruit: digital and sustainable, it works!
Here’s more about Think Digital Green and what you’ll find there.
Here you can find Susanne’s tips in the TV report of the Bayerischer Rundfunk.
Get in touch if you want to learn more about Think Digital Green for your digital life and be a pioneer.
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