Do Your Emails Emit as Much Carbon as a Plane Flight? How To Measure Your Digital Carbon Footprint
By Sam Cooke
We all want to make a positive difference in the world. But recent studies have shown that our online habits are holding us back. Small things that we do in our business every day, like sending an email or hosting a Zoom call, are all contributing to carbon emissions and harming the environment.
This might come as a shock, especially if your business has made the effort to go from paper to digital. However, you needn’t worry. In this article, we’re going to break down digital activities that produce carbon and give you some tips to reduce their impact.
Digital Tasks that Produce Carbon
An average email produces between 0.3g and 26g of carbon. Considering the average worker in an office sends and receives 140 emails a day, this can soon add up to the equivalent of a short plane flight, or a 237-mile-long car ride!
Since Covid, many business owners have moved their meetings online. Recent studies have shown that a one-hour video call produces 157.3 grams of carbon dioxide. According to the same study, switching your video off on a call cuts your emissions by a whopping 96%.
Another source of carbon emissions is websites. Although websites are vital to the marketing of your business, they are holding you back from that golden carbon-neutral status which is so attractive to potential customers.
Online carbon calculators have shown that the average website emits 0.5g of carbon for every page viewed. Again, this sounds like a small amount, but the average person in the USA visits over 130 web pages per day, so it all starts to add up!
How to Lower Your Digital Carbon Footprint
Look at your average day in the office. How many emails are you sending/receiving? How many video calls or conference calls are scheduled each day? Write these figures down and analyse how you can lower them.
Emails are a little harder to reduce since they are the main point of communication for a lot of businesses. However, what you can do is stop yourself from receiving unnecessary ones. We all have those spam emails that we immediately bin. Rather than wasting your time hitting the delete button, unsubscribe from annoying email lists, and cut down your carbon emissions in the process.
You have to analyse whether a face-to-face meeting is going to produce more carbon than a virtual one. In most cases, in-person meetings result in more emissions because you have to account for travel and cups of coffee. But what you can do is turn your video off on video calls or arrange a phone call instead. Every little helps!
As for lowering your website's emissions, we have created the perfect solution…
Create a Carbon Neutral Website
We have created a piece of software that analyses the impact your website is having on the environment. This software plugs into your systems and gives you all the information you need. From there, we’ll offset 25kg of carbon (which is more than the average business website uses) by investing in the Fair Climate Fund. We currently work with them to support their biogas project, which supplies households in rural India with a 100% sustainable and clean way of cooking.
Simply click here and fill out our free test to get an estimate of how much carbon your website is using. Offsetting this carbon will impress your customers and show them how much you care about the planet. You also get the benefit of knowing that you helped a family to eat clean and in a way that does not damage their health or the environment. Changing the world is just a click away, so click here today to analyse the carbon emissions of your website.