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Downloading slashes 80 per cent off software industry carbon emissions


To mark World Environment Day, Softwareload highlights massive carbon footprint of ‘hardcopy’ software industry

London and Bonn, 4 June 2010. Ditching ‘hardcopy’ software packages in favour of direct downloads could reduce the carbon footprint of the global software industry by 80 per cent*, according to, Deutsche Telekom’s UK software download portal.

In the company’s home country, Germany, Softwareload estimates using the most recent figures available (2008) that the annual carbon footprint created by ‘traditional’ CD software production equated to:

  • 77,000m² of CDs – the size of 11 football pitches

  • the same emissions as 442 Hummer vehicles driving once around the circumference of the world

  • 6,132 tonnes of CO2, or the combined weight of 350 bulldozers

Timed to mark World Environment Day on 5 June 2010, Dirk Lebzien, head of Softwareload, said that a cultural shift away from buying physical software packages could help significantly reduce consumer’s carbon footprint, as well as save them time and money.

“The environment is high on personal, governmental and corporate agendas and we all want to do our bit to reduce the impact of our modern life on the planet for future generations,” Lebzien said. “By downloading software packages, we cut out energy consumption involved in producing CDs, packaging and transporting them, as well as the fuel we use travelling 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.”

Softwareload’s own recent research carried out by YouGov found that one in five (21 per cent) of Britons now download and install software directly from the Internet**.

Softwareload as a company has gone carbon neutral, offsetting its CO2 emissions by investing in an environmentally friendly energy project in Brazil.

* The ‘physical copy’ figure was attained by environment consultancy First Climate and was calculated accounting for transport and production factors throughout the supply chain typical when producing standard sized CD-Roms (including manuals). The download figure was achieved using metrics such as server and computer power consumption. When comparing the two, CO2 emissions for downloads were proven to be 80 per cent lower

** All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,094 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27-29 January, 2010.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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About Softwareload, Deutsche Telekom’s software download portal, enables Internet users to download software directly onto their PCs and mobile phones. The portal features over 15.000 programmes – all classified into several main categories. A download guarantee allows users to download purchased products several times over a one-year period. The service is available in all EU-27 countries.

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