Email pollution and CO2 emissions

The Internet is polluting. But how can email pollution happen?

We have decided to focus on the pollution of the mails, or more precisely on the pollution caused by the emission and storage of the mails and their effects on the environment.

Sending an email causes CO2 emission. Once it arrives at its recipient, this email will surely be part of the 60% of unread emails. But this storage also emits CO2, more precisely 10g for one year of storage on average for an email.

The data centers 

A data center is a place where you can find large cabinets containing servers where data is organized, processed, stored, and maintained. There are also cooling and power supply systems.

The data centers operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without any interruption and are therefore energy-intensive. They consume a lot of electricity because of the concentration of equipment, the power distribution system, energy reserves, a powerful internet connection, generators, ventilation and cooling to be provided. Namely that 40% of the electricity consumption of the datacenters is only used for cooling.

You should also consider that when you send an email, share photos or publish articles, the data centers will double this information to keep it in two different servers for more security. If one of the servers crashes, then the information stored is not lost because it has been doubled in another server.

In France, they account for 10% of the country’s total electricity consumption. As you can imagine, data centers pollute a lot: 2% of CO2 emissions worldwide, which is as much as civil aviation

What is the extent of Internet pollution?

We have decided to show you some figures and their equivalences, which allows you to better understand and visualize our impact on the environment when using the internet.

  • 1 mail is 10g of CO2, or a low-energy light bulb for 1 hour.
  • A 10,000 m² data center consumes as much as a city of 50,000 inhabitants
  • 1 tree is 5kg of CO2 absorbed per year
  • 1 ton of CO2 is 1 year’s heating of a 3-room apartment; 14,000km by car; 20 round trips Paris-London by plane, 1 round trip Paris-New York
  • 1 Internet user is 1000 requests per year, i.e. 287,000 tons of CO2 or the equivalent of 1.5 million km travelled by car.

But what’s the impact on our emails?

It is therefore important to reduce your consumption and improve your use of the internet, starting simply by sorting your emails to reduce internet pollution because you can see that a clean mailbox has a positive impact on the environment.

On average 240 million emails are sent per minute worldwide. A mailbox can of course vary from one person to another, but in general without sorting, an Internet user opens only 10% of his emails.

In France, for example, an employee will receive 58 emails and send 33 per day. (Publicom) He will therefore emit nearly 900g of CO2 in one day, not counting the differences in pollution between the different emails.

But if these mails were cleaned, CO2 emissions would be significantly reduced. With Cleanfox, which allows you to clean your inbox from newsletters..

Starting by deleting old emails, thinking about unsubscribing from intrusive newsletters, are small choices with a big impact on the environment.

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