A policy of digital sobriety
"Our brand has turned a corner in terms of eco-responsibility," declared Marc Pinon, CTO, Corporate and Institutional platforms at Orange. Getting to this point has involved the launch of numerous individual initiatives, along with a multitude of best practices. "The process started three years ago with our digital sobriety measures," explains Mr. Pinon. "We started off by mapping out our entire range of digital services, which was a considerable undertaking! The results showed us that we had too many sites, too many pages, etc."
This initial observation led the teams to close a number of platforms. Today, any request to create a site within the Group is given careful consideration and will only be approved if absolutely necessary and if there is no way to integrate the content into an existing platform. "We’ve upgraded our editorial strategy to shift toward total sobriety in the production and publication of content," adds Serge Mouton, Head of Multimedia Projects. To further streamline platforms, operators have also overhauled certain existing pages, minimizing the integration of third-party services (social networks, video and audio feeds, etc.) wherever possible.
It’s a logical choice: we use the same services internally as we sell to our customers.
Serge Mouton, Multimedia Project Manager, Orange
Eco-design: a winning structural solution
For the next step in this process, the Group sought to lay the foundations for a collective effort based on the RGESN (France’s "General Reference Base for Eco-design in Digital Services") and the EcoIndex, an open-source assessment tool by the Green IT collective. To do so, the Group called in the eco-design expertise of the Orange Business digital organizations. "It’s a logical choice: we use the same services internally as we sell to our customers," explains Serge Mouton. The Orange Business offering appeals to project leaders in a number of regards: optimizing the user experience via eco-design, while also providing all the same Orange Business reliability guarantees vis-a-vis sovereign data hosting in France and Europe with the Flexible Engine platform. Finally, it enables a reduction in the environmental impact of digital services, thereby contributing to the Orange Group objective of reducing its carbon footprint by 45% by 2030.
"The first step was to get everybody on board with the subject," explains Laetitia Gaspari, Eco-design Consultant in Digital Services at Orange Business. In early 2023, the teams began working on a proof of concept for the orange.com institutional website: as a result, the EcoIndex rating for the site was upgraded from an E (22.12) to a D (39.37), while the RGESN compliance rating climbed from 51% to 58%. Among the key actions contributing to this progress were training in sobriety and frugality for editors, as well as the use of a standard font.
Awareness, acclimation, standardization
This approach will soon be rolled out across all Orange sites and applications built on the same technological foundation. To make this possible, the partners will work to establish a form of digital governance overseeing not just the rules that content should adhere to in terms of brand presentation, but also security, accessibility and eco-design. "We’ve left as much room as possible to allow the various departments to appropriate and implement this new approach in their own way," explains Laetitia Gaspari. In order to oversee the application of this global framework, the new entity produces in-depth monthly reporting, using specialist tools to measure the environmental performance of platforms.
In time, the approach is intended to cover all of the Group’s platforms: an ambitious objective that will require adapting the editorial lines of each site and application. Much more than just a technical concept, eco-design directly impacts the content and marketing associated with solutions designed in this way. "Hence the importance of training for all the stakeholders involved, ensuring they take ownership of the eco-design approach," concludes Marc Pinon and Serge Mouton.