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Did you know that sending and receiving email has become a core activity in our daily life?

In fact, while you were reading this sentence, over 10 million emails were send. It has become one of the most important technologies we use to communicate. With colleagues, clients or partners. But also with family, friends and acquaintances. Over 4 billion people around the world use email to send over 300 billion mails every day. How does your email behavior impact the planet? And what about the organization you work for?

CO2 Impact Calculator

Did you know that, on average, 47% of all emails we receive is spam? And that 24% contain attachments? Off course, this differs per person, just as the amount of emails you send and receive per day. To built this calculator we have used knowledge on types of emails, sizes of emails, reading times, device the mail is read on, amount of emails opened, amounts stored versus deleted. They all influence the electricity consumed with email behavior. But nothing matters as much as the amount of emails one sends on an average day and the % of those mails that contain attachments. And if you think your impact is acceptable, see what the organization you work in emits as a whole.


Do you want to embrace a greener digital lifestyle? Below we provide some tips. If you select one or multiple, it is stored locally. This is better for both CO2 emissions as it is for your privacy. By selecting a tip, it is added to your own battleplan, where you can always return to in the Take Action section.

  • Unsubscribe from newsletters

    Only 2 out of 10 newsletters get opened and an average internet user receives over 4.000 newsletters per year. Unsubscribing from newsletters is one of the quickest ways to lower your email impact. You can manually unsubscribe by scrolling to the bottom of an email and click on the link “Unsubscribe” or “Change email preferences.” To facilitate this process, third party tools are available, like, Cleanfox or Mailstorm.

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  • Delete newsletters

    How long does the information in a newsletter stays relevant? Most newsletters are stored unnecessarily. In the Netherlands alone, unopened, stored newsletters emit more than 1 million tons of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to driving approximately 3 million cars.

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  • Only send emails to who needs to receive them

    Limiting ‘reply all’ and being strict on putting people in CC can do a lot for your impact. Around 75% of the mails you receive in CC/reply all is considered irrelevant and unnecessary by the receiver.

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  • Delete attachments in mailbox

    On average 24% of our mails contain attachments. They are the real influencers of email impact. Off course, sending attachments is an efficient and easy way to share documents, images or presentations. But there are a few things you might want to do to be a smarter sender and receiver of attachments.

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  • Reduce attachment sharing: work in shared environments

    Do you have to share a lot of documents, images or presentations because you need others to collaborate or reflect on it? An easy way, is to share work is the digital workplace. To remind the other on where it is stored, you could use a hyperlink reference to the shared folder or specific document, image or presentations.

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  • Reduce Attachment Size

    The two main contributors to a large PDF file are redundant texts and large images. You can reduce, convert and down­sample the size of your attachement in the saving settings. For most cases, it still fits the purpose of reading, collaborating or improving. Only if you want to have a file (large-scale) printed, you should take into account the required resolutions. Compressing would also makes it more easily to share via e-mail and is not too large on the web sites.

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Did you know reading your email on your mobile is a lot greener than reading your email on a desktop?

Just over half of all emails (54%) get read on a desktop, 46% get read on a mobile device. This can be a laptop, a tablet or a phone. In fact, using your phone to read email is, by far, the greenest way because it uses a lot less electricity to complete the task.

How important emailing has become in our daily lives has been researched frequently. Those of us with an office job spend on average over 2.5 hours each day checking, reading, writing emails. Having a good strategy for emailing not only leads to less impact on the planet but also has many health benefits.

For several years there has been one day in the year on which a lot of more emails were send than on any other day. We know this day as Black Friday.