|The Myth: Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print and paper.|
The Fact: Not necessarily. E-Media also has environmental impacts.
Go paperless, go green and save trees are common themes these days as many corporations and governments encourage their customers and employees to switch to electronic transactions or communications. But are appeals to help the environment by eliminating paper based on sound science or on marketing strategies aimed at cost cutting?
Organizations that truly want to make responsible environmental choices should do so based on rigorous, factual and verifiable life cycle assessments of each alternative. Rather than asking which is better, paper or electronic communication, we should be working to figure out which combination of the two has the least impact on the environment while best meeting social and economic needs.
- The direct impact of ICT [electronic] products and services replacing paper is far from negligible, and the trade-off between the two "technologies" depends on conditions such as use frequency, source of energy, end-of-life management of the products, etc
– P. Arnfalk
- With a reading time of 30 minutes per day the environmental impact of the web based newspaper was in general in the same range as the printed newspapers environmental impact.
– A. Moberg et.al.
- When billers consider the investment necessary to achieve their e-bill penetration potential and returns, they have primarily focused on cost savings. Across industries, billers can expect to save money by digitizing paper billing processes and formats, which include the cost of paper, postage, labor and equipment.
– Check-Free Research Services
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