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Downloads Cut Software Industry’s Global Carbon Footprint by 80%

Software downloads can cut the software industry’s global carbon footprint by 80 percent, according to Softwareload.co.uk, Deutsche Telekom’s UK software download portal, reports News Blaze.

Similarly, a study from Microsoft finds that online downloads of 10 million copies of Microsoft Office 2007, avoided eight times the amount of carbon emissions, or reduced the total tons of carbon emissions by 88 percent, compared to producing and shipping a DVD and its associated packaging through traditional retail distribution channels.

In Germany alone, Softwareload estimates, based on 2008 figures, that the annual carbon footprint created by traditional CD software production equals to 77,000m² of CDs and 6,132 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“By downloading software packages, we cut out energy consumption involved in producing CDs, packaging and transporting them, as well as the fuel we use traveling to stores to buy them. Downloading personal and business software packages is a proven way to not only save the time and some of the expense involved in shopping for physical software packages, but we’ve also proven that it can help the environment too, which can only be a good thing,” said Dirk Lebzien, head of Softwareload, in the article.

Softwareload’s own research conducted by YouGov found that one in five (21 percent) of Britons now download and install software directly from the Internet.

Softwareload says it is carbon neutral, offsetting its CO2 emissions by investing in an environmentally friendly energy project in Brazil.

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One thought on “Downloads Cut Software Industry’s Global Carbon Footprint by 80%

  1. It is nice to see that this movement towards cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS), and software downloading is starting to build some real momentum. It is also helpful that an organization has done a study to quantify the benefits of these options from an environmental sense. The other benefits, particularly for small businesses (on whose behalf my organization works), have been known for a while now. These include reduced costs, less of a need for dedicated IT staff members, online IT assistance, easier access to software updates, the ability to reload software almost immediately if one changes computers or a computer crashes, etc. I think that as this market continues to grow, small businesses will continue to benefit. It is always good to see that an item such as SaaS or software downloads can be good for the environment and for business at the same time without any the need to consider any other factors or questions.

    Tim Kovach,
    Product Coordinator, Energy at COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises)

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