“Digitalization – the use and adoption of digital technologies – is driving massive economic, social and environmental changes. The future of humanity and the health of planet Earth depend to a large extent on how we undergo this digital transformation.”

– CODES Action Plan Executive Summary

During the Stockholm+50 international environmental meeting, the Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES) launched the “Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age.” The Action Plan identifies three shifts needed to harness digital transformation as a positive force towards sustainability:

  1. Enable Alignment: Strong, global coalitions of sustainability and digital-tech experts will help shape common visions, standards and objectives to prioritize the investments and resources needed to systemically align digital transformation with our sustainable development agenda.

2. Mitigate Negative Impact: Commitment to sustainable digitalization that mitigates the negative environmental and social impacts of digital technologies. Key impacts include greenhouse gas emissions, metals and e-waste, misinformation, and the gap between those who have access to digital technology and those who do not.

3. Accelerate Innovation: Mobilize and catalyze funding and resources to advance digital innovation that accelerates environmental and social sustainability for the “whole-of-society.” Examples include digital twins of the planet, digital product passports, sustainable digital e-commerce, SMART climate resilient agriculture and digitally enabled off-grid solutions. 

Within each shift, the Action Plan identifies six strategic priorities that must be addressed during the 2022-2025 timeline as well as nine global Impact Initiatives that interested stakeholders can lead, contribute to or engage in to catalyze systemic transformations.

For supplementary material, documents, and information on how to contribute, please visit: https://www.sparkblue.org/joincodes.

The CODES secretariat includes the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Science Council, the German Environment Agency, the Kenya Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Future Earth, and Sustainability in the Digital Age. The Action Plan is based on a series of open dialogues and collective intelligence processes – spearheaded by the CODES secretariat – that engaged over 1000 stakeholders.