Article updated on 02/06/22 following the live given on this subject!
Before we get into the debate, let's get something straight: emails do not have a major environmental impact. It's even a micro-pile of digital and a speck of dust in the whole mess. This is clear and should be obvious to everyone.
The question here is: when companies send several billion commercial emails per year to their hundreds of thousands of customers and prospects :
Does the carbon footprint of such an emailing strategy end up weighing in?
Digital sobriety is a subject that is often poorly understood by organizations, and on which many preconceived notions or false good ideas circulate.
We've tidied up the mess with Alexis Lepagecoach at SAMIand Basile Fighieraconsultant for Low Carbon Strategy and Digital Sobriety.
Listen to the podcast:
Watch the video: thank you for viewing it in 360p or less 😉
Sources, sources, sources
Global figures on the environmental footprint of digital technology
- FRANCE : GreenIT.fr (2021), study "environmental impacts of digital technology in France https://www.greenit.fr/impacts-environnementaux-du-numerique-en-france/
- WORLD: GreenIT.fr (2019), "Global Digital Footprint" study. https://www.greenit.fr/impacts-environnementaux-du-numerique-en-france/
- SAMI - Digital Pollution: https://www.sami.eco/post/greenit-pollution-numerique
- Carbon 4 footprint - The carbon footprint of the cloud: https://www.carbone4.com/analyse-empreinte-carbone-du-cloud
Figures on the eCarbon footprint of an email / newsletter
- The Sami/Basile Fighiera article "Carbon footprint of an email: myths, realities and solutions" (2022). The sources used for this article are at the end of the article 🙂 https://www.sami.eco/post/empreinte-carbone-email
- For the newsletter, the same model was used with assumptions proposed by Badsender.
- To go further on the concepts of calculating the environmental impact of digital technology: ARCEP/ADEME (2022) study "Evaluation of the environmental impact of digital technology in France and prospective analysis (2nd part of the study)". Between page 212 and 217 you will find LCAs for digital equipment, networks and data centers.https://www.arcep.fr/uploads/tx_gspublication/etude-numerique-environnement-ademe-arcep-volet02_janv2022.pdf
- BonPote - Should you delete your emails : https://bonpote.com/environnement-faut-il-supprimer-ses-emails/
Basile Fighiera Basile is a Low Carbon Strategy and Digital Sobriety consultant. He assists private and public organizations in ambitious low-carbon strategies without greenwashing (awareness raising, assessment of the current situation/Carbon Footprint®, assistance in an action plan). Digital sobriety is one of the subjects he explores the most among environmental issues. He is also an animator of frescos (climate fresco and digital fresco).
Alexis Lepage Alexis is a coach / carbon consultant at SAMI. He participates in the elaboration of decarbonation strategies for companies of all sectors.
Marion Duchatelet She advises Badsender's clients in their emailing strategy and in the choice of their tools. She organizes master template design workshops for LePatron email builder. She writes articles, hosts live shows, does training with Badsender but not only that, she jumps on all good ideas to make sure they become reality. She never gives up, never! She wants to understand everything, EVERYTHING!