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How to reduce the Internet and emails' carbon footprint

The internet is central to our personal and working lives, allowing us to share messages, videos, photos, music and more, all from the palm of our hands. However, our internet usage and online habits significantly affect climate change, contributing to 3.7% of the world's total carbon emissions, worryingly similar to the aviation industry. 

This is why it's vital to switch to climate-positive broadband to reduce your carbon footprint far beyond your home's internet use. Not to mention Your Co-op Broadband provides award-winning customer service and reliably fast speeds of up to 900Mbps

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Family using a laptop

Carbon footprint of Email & Internet use

In the UK, the average number of emails sent each day is 8.3 billion, so it's likely if you're a working adult, you have sent and received a few today (4g of CO2 per email) and used a web browser (0.2g of CO2 per search). In the evening, you may stream music while making dinner and send chat messages to friends and family (average 0.8g of CO2 per user per day), before settling in front of the tv and streaming a new series or film (55g of CO2 per hour streaming on Netflix)

Any of these digital interactions create grams of carbon dioxide that quickly add up, as energy is used to power your devices and the broadband networks which grant your internet access. However, the majority of the digitally created emissions come from a 'behind-closed-door' source, the data centres which power the servers responsible for internet use. Though the average internet server is difficult to estimate the exact emission figures for. 

Here are the facts and stats around internet and email carbon footprints.

Woman using her phone in a cafe
Facebook is responsible for an average of 299g of CO2 per average user, per year.

Young girl using a laptop to do homework
TikTok with 5 minutes of viewing time every day is 4.8kg of CO2 per user, per year.

Man sending an email using Your Co-op Broadband
In total, 33,200 tonnes of CO2 are produced each day as a direct result of emails sent and received in the UK. 

Man using his laptop to work from home
Each year, unnecessary emails alone are responsible for as many CO2 emissions as 3,334 diesel cars, and the emissions of an ordinary email (4g of CO2) can be as high as 50g of CO2. 

Woman using her laptop outside
The total carbon emissions for the average internet user worldwide is 414kg of CO2 per year, this includes the estimated emissions produced to manufacture and run the digital technologies between all internet users around the world.

How can Your Co-op Broadband reduce my carbon footprint?

Learning about the carbon footprint of our digital habits can make us feel powerless against the necessity of the internet, but Your Co-op Broadband provides a simple solution to help break this cycle. 

Switching to Your Co-op Broadband reduces your monthly carbon footprint by 10kg and plants a tree, so a typical 24-month contract will reduce 240kg of CO2 just for switching. Thanks to our climate impact partners Ecologi, we can make it simple and easy for customers to live more sustainably. 

Each month, your climate-positive broadband actions a funding contribution that's sent to Ecologi's carbon reduction projects and reforestation sites around the world. This funding equates to 10kg of CO2 reduced per broadband customer and a tree planted for future decarbonisation. 

In total, our average user's broadband emits a monthly figure of 2.6kg of CO2 each month, factoring in a wide range of uses at home, the internal servers, the router, and the engineering resources. That means your broadband reduces carbon by almost 4x the amount it's produced, so the climate and world are better off. We have even made a technical breakdown of how we cut your carbon so you can find out more about how our service is climate positive. 


Trees planted


Tonnes of carbon reduction