Consulting|Technology|International business

Go Green by going paperless – economic benefit

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Earth hour initiative I had participated in 2008 and 2009

Other personal initiatives undertaken by me in past

With the Copenhagen summit on climate change and reducing carbon emissions making front page headlines for the last so many days now, I wanted to shed some impact of this on my personal paperless habits:

1. All monthly bills have been converted to paperless format and on emails – credit cards, mobile bills, bank statements etc.

2. My using the kindle is testimony that I support going green since I use less of the deadtree version and more of the digital version with no reduction in quality of reading! e-book versions definitely do their bit for the environment by preventing lesser trees from being cut to publish the deadtree version of the same. Yes, ebook providers such as or Barnes and Noble ( also use high electricity guzzling server farms with other server farm cooling infrastructure (AC’s etc.) to deliver these books to us wirelessly using their technologies but I am sure that the deadtree version requires more trees to be cut than the carbon footprint of those online server farms supporting the backend infrastructure of those e-book content providers or service providers.

3. I use a standard caveat on all my emails that says “Please consider the environment before printing this email” to save paper. This definitely works since I send out a lot of emails in a day and this will impact positively.

4. I don’t use the printed form of photographs anymore to save paper. We don’t frequent photographs daily or even weekly. It’s a more emotional connection we have and that is quite rare to revisit pictures. Try to use the digital medium to store pictures and frequent them as often as you like.


I was watching this on television the other day that China has made a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions (and set their carbon intensity targets) by 40-45% between 2005 and 2020 as going by the rate of their current GDP growth (almost 8-10% for last few years consistently) their current increase in carbon emissions would entail that their carbon emissions without any cuts would entail a rise of 4 times the current levels. This is huge given China is the biggest carbon emitting nation followed by the US. By cutting it by 40-45%, it will still be about double of current (2005 levels) carbon emission levels but at least it will be contained.

India announced a similar goal of cutting emissions intensity by 20 percent to 25 percent from 2005 to 2020. Like China, India’s carbon cuts would be relative to GDP.

India has every right to demand better policies for developing nations to cut their carbon emissions compared to the developed nations that have already done the damage and polluted the world by their carbon emissions. It is valid so it is to be seen what PM Manmohan Singh says at the Copenhagen summit.

It has huge economic ramifications for India.

We all agree we need to save our planet but we need to be realistic and rational about it.


Written by Naveen Athresh

December 10, 2009 at 9:48 am

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