Matt from Vertatique.com has posted a most interesting article on Carbon Reduction through Digital Delivery.
A recent WPS study of Microsoft Office distribution concluded that "digital delivery reduced total tonnes of carbon emissions by 88%. Although it may be better to consider actual savings for most digital downloads to be more like 65% to 70%, there is clearly a significant energy savings opportunity for home office and business users to be achieved, if they will use this capability.
But, and the big but, the saving will only be achieved if the buyer uses this delivery option?
I wondered what incentives were being offered by vendors to encourage buyers to make use of this energy savings option. In a perfect world, all buyers would select the energy savings option, but experience shows that this is not the case. We seem to be more motivated by what is best for us!
The good news is that digital download is often best for us, and in this case it seems that our self centered goals are aligned with "the right thing" to do!
1) Digital download offers immediate gratification! Almost all of us have high speed internet connections, and want our purchase NOW.
2) Digital download comes with no shipping charges. This can be a significant saving, particularly for express deliveries!
But it seems that none of the carbon savings (production and shipping costs) are being passed on to the consumer. A quick tour of the regular software manufacturers did not reveal any price reduction for the digital version of the software?
We hope that the savings in shipping and immediate access to the purchase will be sufficient incentive for buyers to select digital delivery, and hope that vendors will be encouraged to pass on the savings they make as soon as possible.
Open4Energy - Get Smart about Energy™