Please think of the environment before printing

Have you noticed a rise in corporate email footers with the admonition to think of the environment before printing an email out?

What was once a rare but oddly nice bit of comment has now become a flood as it seems everyone is desperate to show their green credentials by telling me how to behave.

Today though, when scanning to the bottom of an email to get to the attached image, I noticed in bold red text the following: Pulse Communications is climate positive.

What the **** does that mean?

It’s pointless stupid drivel.

I’ll gloss over the fact that roughly one percent of electricity consumption in the world is by telecoms operators and all these “eco-footers” are increasing the load on the telecoms network and hence are alone probably responsible for a few hundred tons of CO2 as well.

If you want to be “climate positive”, then cut down the massive legal disclaimer footers than no one ever actually reads and reduce your impact on the telecoms network.

Oh, and turn off that silly screensaver on the office PC while you are at it.

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4 Comments

  1. I think it tells us more about the culture of the sending organisation than they realise.

    Who on earth prints out emails???

    I can only assume that the senders of such emails work for backwards, luddite, criminally-mismanaged bureaucratic, lacklustre companies.

    If you didn’t already have a culture of printing out emails, it wouldn’t even *occur* to you to preach to others not to do it.

  2. IanVisits

    That’s an interesting aspect that I hadn’t thought about.

    It reminded my of those companies which have secure disposal bins for sensitive documents – which in a way offer an offical sanction to printing out documents which then can’t be shared and have to be disposed of in a special box.

  3. There is some talk of this being a nice box ticker with ISO 14000 environmental compliance. It’s a nice “we’re green initiative” that doesn’t really do much more than tick a box.. there’s a website with details of how to make the footer and free graphics if you can’t manage to do it with HTML at thinkbeforeprinting.org

    I’m no ISO expert, but I think this could be a logical explanation as to why more and more corporates are doing it – CSR. :)

  4. Tobias Ebersberger

    Ha! Yes indeed. Though I must admit having included a similar add-on to my footer, I have to say I did it on purpose. I’m a consultant working with several insurance companies, quite a lot of them German, and as I have noticed during my time working for one of the largest of them myself that although they indeed possess a very advanced IT-System, the typical German reaction towards any information seems to be somewhat “Goethic”: “Denn was Du schwarz auf weiss besitzt, kannst Du getrost nach Hause tragen (J.W.G.)” (Something on the lines of “Only what’s printed is real”). Somehow this seems to be a national quirk…
    But as you all know: we Germans hate our bureaucracy but but can’t manage to do without it… ;-)
    Before sending a mail to you folks on the isles, however, I’ll guess I’ll just stick to the “ordinary” footer!
    Have a nice weekend, Tobias

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