An Electronic Voting System as a Tool to Reduce the Carbon Footprint at a Public Higher Education Institution in Colombia

Angel José Lozada Das Dores, Edgar de Jesús Sandoval Arboleda, Harlys Rivas Perea


The aim of this research is to demonstrate that a green information and communication technology (green ICT) strategy, such as an online voting system (OVS) for democratic processes at a higher education institution (HEI) in Colombia, could reduce the carbon footprint and contribute to the environment. The OVS was designed, tested, and successfully implemented at the mentioned institution. After implementing the OVS in democratic processes, it became possible to observe a reduction in the carbon footprint to zero in aspects such as energy, gasoline, and paper consumption by measuring the mentioned items segmented by year (from 2011 to 2018) and academic population participating in democratic processes (students, graduates, and professors). The institution no longer needed to use facilities, thus reducing energy consumption and eliminating the need for paper ballots. Additionally, many voters no longer needed to travel to the institution to vote. It is possible to implement other strategies based on ICT to further reduce the carbon footprint and raise awareness among the academic population, with the goal of minimizing the impact of human activities on the planet. Research around OVSs is focused on technical topics such as security improvements rather than humanitarian aspects like using software to reduce the environmental impact of human activities. In this order of ideas, thanks to the implemented system, the HEI reduced equivalent emissions from average energy consumption (121.8 KWh per year) from 19.8 KgCO2e per year to zero and equivalent emissions from average paper consumption (37.17 kg per year) from 11.530 KgCO2e per year to zero, contributing to reducing the carbon footprint from democratic processes.  


Keywords: green IT, carbon footprint, online voting system, energy consumption.

Full Text:



PRESIDENCIA DE LA REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA. Eficiencia Administrativa y Lineamientos de la Polltica Cero Papel en la Administración Pública, 2012.

MINISTERIO DE TECNOLOGÍAS DE LA INFORMACIÓN Y COMUNICACIONES DE COLOMBIA. Guía de buenas prácticas para reducir el consumo de papel en el Ministerio de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones, 2011.

UNITED NATIONS. The Sustainable Development Agenda, 2022.

BSB-CIRCLECON. Knowing Circular Economy in Black Sea Basin, 2023.

UN. ECE. COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. Environmental performance reviews: Bulgaria: third review. United Nations, New York, Geneva, 2017.

SHANG D., DIAO G., LIU C., and YU L. The Impact of Waste Paper Recycling on the Carbon Emissions from China’s Paper Industry. Environmental Management, 2021, 67(5): 811–821.

LOZADA-DAS-DORES Á. J., CASALLAS-RESTREPO R. E., BEDOYA-GARCÍA J. A., CASTELLANOS-GARZÓN J. A., and REY-PIEDRAHITA A. Dispensador de cajetillas de cigarrillos para Mipyme como experiencia de relación academia-sector productivo, Tuluá. Revista Científica, 2022, 43: 109-123.

WU L., ZHANG F., CHANG S. J., and ZHANG Z. How do the internet technological developments shift the consumption pattern of paper products? Evidence from China. Technology in Society, 2021, 67: 101731.

ESMAEELI A., & SARRAFZADEH M. H. Reducing freshwater consumption in pulp and paper industries using pinch analysis and mathematical optimization. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2023, 53: 103646.

GIBSON J. P., KRIMMER R., TEAGUE V., and POMARES J. A review of e-voting: the past, present and future. Annals of Telecommunications, 2016, 71: 279-286.

DE JESÚS SANDOVAL ARBOLEDA E., RUIZ V. O., and DURAN D. S. Selecting Assessments for Problem Based Learning. International Journal of Computers, 2018, 3: 164-170.

UNIDAD CENTRAL DEL VALLE DEL CAUCA. Resolución Rectoral 1241 de 2020, 2020.

UNIDAD CENTRAL DEL VALLE DEL CAUCA. Elección Representante Estudiantes Consejo Directivo, 2020.

UNIDAD CENTRAL DEL VALLE DEL CAUCA. Election of teacher representative before the academic council, 2023.

UNIDAD CENTRAL DEL VALLE DEL CAUCA. Resultados Oficiales Elecciones Para Representante de Los Egresados Al Consejo Directivo, 2018.

UNIDAD CENTRAL DEL VALLE DEL CAUCA. Resultados de la Jornada de Elección Del Representante de Los Estudiantes Ante El Consejo Directivo, 2018.

UPME. Energy Mining Planning Unit, 2023.

CABALLERO A. Huella de carbono de empresas: registro, cálculo y reducción, 2023.,su%20correspondiente%20factor%20de%20emisi%C3%B3n

RANGANATHAN J., MOORCROFT D., KOCH J., and BHATIA P. Protocolo de Gases Efecto Invernadero, 2005.

UPME. Mining and Energy Planning Unit: emissions calculator, 2016.

LANDÍVAR M. J., & SÁNCHEZ GÁLVEZ D. C. S. Gerencia del conocimiento: respuesta reductora de la huella de carbono de la Universidad de Guayaquil. Universidad y Sociedad, 2017, 9(1): 154–160.

ZHOU M., JIN H., and WANG W. A review of vehicle fuel consumption models to evaluate eco-driving and eco-routing. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 2016, 49: 203-218.

NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA. Learn the facts: Fuel consumption and CO2, 2014.

UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. Calculadora de equivalencias de gases de efecto invernadero - Cálculos y referencias, 2024.

GOBIERNO DE ESPAÑA. Emission factors: carbon footprint registration, compensation and carbon dioxide absorption projects.

PAN M., ZHAO X., ROSAK-SZYROCKA J., MENTEL G., and TRUSKOLASKI T. Internet development and carbon emission-reduction in the era of digitalization: where will resource-based cities go? Resources Policy, 2023, 81: 103345.

CHAABANE F., KTARI J., FRIKHA T., and HAMAM H. Low power blockchained e-vote platform for university environment. Future Internet, 2022, 14(9): 269.

ABEGUNDE J., SPRING J., and XIAO H. SEVA: A Smart Electronic Voting Application Using Blockchain Technology. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Blockchain, Melbourne, 2021, pp. 353-360.


  • There are currently no refbacks.