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Sustainable email – prepare for Green Office Week

Posted Wednesday April 27th, 2011, 10:55 am by

Are your emails resource hungry or sustainable?

Email misuse significantly increases an organisation’s and an individuals carbon foot print.  Getting the email traffic down in order to save energy is one of my pet grips.

It never ceases to amaze me how few people spring clean their inboxes.  Yet, the bigger the inbox the more natural resources needed to run the email servers.  The reply is usually either why should I waste my time, or servers are cheap.  Fine if you don’t care about the businesses profitability and the environment.  It’s funny because if you kept so much paper that you ran out of office space you would soon have a clear out.  So why not do the same with email?

Meanwhile of course most cloud-based email services such as Gmail and Hotmail actively encourage big inboxes. 

Then there are the emails themselves – all those long signature blocks with icons and endless straplines.  The one which makes me most cross is ‘please consider the environment and don’t print this email unless absolutely necessary’. 

Short simple emails are best and that includes the signature block.  There is nothing more annoying and unprofessional than an email where more space is taken up by all the marketing and PR blurb than by the message itself.  What a waste.  Furthermore, icons embedded in the email use up even more storage space.

Then there are all the unnecessary emails sent primarily either to cover your backside or shout about how clever you are.  More wasted processing resources (eg energy) and server space.

What about fancy fonts and colour?  Heaven forbid you need to print these.  What a waste of toner unless you remember to use the black and white printer.  However, all too often a coloured email  lures you to the colour printer.

My daily email tips for this week were planned to focus on email best practice and sustainability as a result of recent and future client projects.  By chance I heard about Green Office Week happening in May.

Prepare for Green Office Week by taking steps to make your emails more sustainable and use the minimum of resources.  For tips follow my Tweet at Emaildoctor.

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