Research currently underway at Sun Microsystems is trying to measure the carbon footprint of individual e-mails, BusinessGreen reports.
The aim of the exercise is to try and prove, quantifiably, that e-mail has an environmental advantage over other methods of communication.
The research also hopes to enable firms to benchmark the carbon footprint of their own e-mail systems against best practices.
The resulting metric should allow firms to identify the policies and systems they could implement to ensure the carbon footprint from their emails are as low as possible, said Richard Barrington, head of sustainability and public policy at Sun in the UK.
“It is not an easy task but we are looking at the mail servers, the different software applications used, the network devices and trying to extrapolate the energy used back to the email itself,” Barrington said.