A cartoon visual of a world with a email with legs walking over it

The carbon impact of email and how we’re helping to reduce it

Recently we’ve been thinking a lot about emails and their impact on the environment. As a CRM agency, emails play a big part in our day-to-day lives, but that doesn’t mean we’re not doing our bit to reduce our digital footprint.

First up, a bit of context.


How do our tech habits actually affect the environment?

A. The electricity used to charge our devices

B. The energy it takes to transmit information through data centres

C. The energy used to store billions of emails on giant servers

D. The amount of greenhouse gas produced to support our online activity


Sadly, that’s a trick question. As I’m sure many of you know, when it comes to the perils of tech and the environment – it’s all of the above. There’s a whole infrastructure behind sending an email. What we see on our screens only scratches the surface.

Think about it, technology is relentless with its constant stream of notifications. Bing – there’s a new email. Whiz – Insta alert. Zap – oops there goes Facebook messenger. Ping – it’s a match. With noises and notifications flying every which-way, it’s not just our own energy (drip-fed by caffeine) that we’re exhausting. The environment is also paying a price.

According to the Guardian, the internet releases around 300m tonnes of CO2 a year. To put that into perspective, that equates to more than half the fossil fuels burned in the UK. Or the equivalent to every person in the UK flying to America – not once but twice.

So how bad is email for the environment?

Not quite on the level of private jets zooming through the sky, the average email still tots up more than you might think:

Ovo energy tells us that ‘If every Brit sent one less thank you email a day, we would save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year – the same as 81,152 flights to Madrid’. Now we’re all for a spontaneous trip to Spain, but we’ll have to pass on Sangria in the sun on this occasion.

So where do Flourish come in?

When it comes down to it, email marketing generates the highest ROI by a country mile. Therefore, it’s safe to say that email won’t be going anywhere for a wee bit. But we’re doing our best to make a positive impact where we can.

Using our experienced team of data folk – as we like to call them – we’re using valuable insight to channel our approach and make email campaigns more targeted. So long unnecessary emails! For us, it’s all about the right place, right people, right channel.

First and foremost, we believe everything starts with the audience. You’ve got to know who you’re talking to. And we mean REALLY know them. Nobody wants to have their time wasted by a bunch of emails that have no relevance to them. That’s where we come in.

At our end, we manage customer audiences and segmentation to support hyper targeted customer experiences – aka we’ll direct you towards the people you should be talking to, how you should be talking to them and when.

At your end, we’ll improve conversion and ROI, optimising campaign performance and maximising customer lifetime value (CLV). All while reducing the number of unnecessary, environment polluting emails that are sent out. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Why not see for yourself?

For example, back in 2011 we were chosen to run Samsung’s UK eCRM strategy and create customer-targeted communications. With our strategy in place, we made sure our emails went to the right consumers at the right time in the right place. The result? We turned email into their best performing channel for driving sales AND reduced the number of unecessary emails that were sent out.


If you want to reduce your digital impact on the environment with targeted email campaigns – drop us an email.

No thank you emails allowed.