FIDJI Institute 32-34 avenue Kléber 75016 Paris – France

Real estate digital frugality

What are we talking about?

Frugality means consciously reducing waste generation, getting rid of the unnecessary, suppressing any information that clutters, hinders, or complicates daily business or becomes so invasive that it is detrimental to efficiency. Other common names for shared frugality are: sobriety, lean, simplicity, zero waste [of time, resources, energy], or low-data.

Defined in 2008 by the Frenchman Fréderic Bordage (Institut du Numérique Responsable), digital sobriety refers to “the approach that consists in designing digital services that are more sober and in moderating one’s daily digital use“. Therefore, among other things, it means using less data to [live-work-produce] better.

Designed by the FIDJI Institute in 2009, digital sobriety in real estate allows us to collect and share only the data that is essential to the operational performance of each of the professions in our sector. It focuses on the essentials, prioritizing where and when necessary and eliminating any superfluous data point. It is a collective approach before being an individual one.

Essential data is listed in a dictionary (free of rights for wide adoption) that induces sustainable digital and collaborative work practices, serving the common good of the real estate industry.

Where to start ?

According to The Shift Project, “digital overconsumption” is neither sustainable nor essential to economic growth; as a matter of fact, it is uncorrelated to it.

Reaching digital sobriety in real estate means first of all renouncing the bulimic storage of data, which is unproductive and whose negative externalities weigh on our future (4% of the planet’s CO2 emissions). It also means adopting standardized information exchange flows (convergent interoperability) that address exclusively the real needs of our businesses. Thus, the illusionary “more and more” disappears in favor of a friendly and efficient sobriety.

It is sheer nonsense to believe that we can accumulate oceans of data with impunity, simply because they are stored in a dematerialized cloud that would weight nothing. Limitless accumulation is incompatible with the ESG trajectories that are a clear mandate now. Moreover, reality of our businesses shows that these vast oceans of data are not used, and therefore useless. This is why it is necessary to strive towards the smallest possible ecological footprint by sharing a common and efficient semantic when exchanging data.

The FIDJI Institute is a contributor to this digital real estate sober operating model, by producing FIDJI DATA – the first European dictionary of essential real estate data, free of rights and available on For 15 years, the institute has been involved in sustainable development through the eco-design of digital products and services beneficial to the real estate industry.

FIDJI Institute – The competence center for the digital real estate industry.

  • The European study “Databerg 2015” by Veritas Technologies LLC reveals that only 14% of stored data would have a proven use.
  • Rui Diogo, CEO of HERDIA Paris, reveals during Real IT 2022 that 85% of the real estate data collected is never used.
  • According to The Shift Project, in 2018 digital was responsible for 3.7% of global CO2 emissions and 3.8% of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions. Without the implementation of a sobriety policy, without collective awareness, this share could exceed 8% of GHG emissions in 2024.
  • Only 70 kb of data were used to land on the Moon in 1969. Now that amount is barely enough to send an e-mail! This digital bulimia has a considerable environmental cost, especially in terms of greenhouse gases emissions. The ecological footprint of the global digital universe represents about three times that of France, or a 7th continent. How did this digital universe become so fat? (Frédéric Bordage 2019)
  • According to the 2020 Accenture and Qlik study: “The Human Impact of data Literacy” study, only 21% of employees are data literate, although 65% of them say they need to read and interpret data regularly. Also, three-quarters of employees (74%) report feeling overwhelmed or unhappy when working with oceans of data.
  • WWF’s view is that “Digital pollutes but its increase is also a great opportunity to accelerate the ecological transition. Together, let’s shape a responsible digital world.”