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Reduce the email carbon footprint

Thursday November 19th, 2020, 10:00 am

Our email carbon foot print can easily be reduced with the help of the majour providers.  See our recent letter in the Financial Times.  However, as individuals we to have a part to play. Here five easy ways to manage email more effectively to reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. Reduce the number of emails you send each day. Before hitting send, ask yourself, why am I sending this email? What will it achieve?  If you don’t have a good answer don’t send the email. If you do still need to send the email, then ask yourself is there a better way for me to communicate this message for example using a collaborative tool like Teams and especially if you are sending one message to many people.
  2. Audit your (and your manager’s) inbox to identify how you can reduce the number of emails you receive, for example Cc’d emails, newsletters etc.
  3. Share files rather than emailing them to individuals.
  4. Stop sending thank you emails. Add a note of gratitude in the original email, for example, ‘thanks in advance for your help’. If the person has gone the extra mile, call them to say thank you. This comes across as so much more sincere.
  5. Reduce the number of newsletters to which you subscribe. If you keep trashing a newsletter, unsubscribe. Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint.

In summary, small creates a beautiful email carbon footprint when it comes to email and inbox size. At the same time, make sure you don’t send trivial one-line message which have no value for the recipient, eg OK, Thanks, Will do. Chrome have a neat extension called ‘Carbon Capper’ which pops up when you send emails of less than four words to prompt you to think whether or not you need to send the email.

This is an extract of Dr Seeley’s forthcoming new book – ‘100 Tips to Improve Performance in the Digital Age’, being co-authored with Melissa Esquibel.

For more time saving tips and hints why not buy a copy of one of our books or let us run a Smart Email Management workshop for you and your colleagues.
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