The eco² benefits of Bulletin Text Messaging

Go Green with Bulletin Text Messaging

Switching to SMS from paper makes sense ecologically and financially.

Organisations responsible for sending traditional paper-based mail will benefit the Earth and their bottom line by using text messaging as a substitute. Briefly, we’ll discuss just two of those benefits –

  1. Reducing costs by reducing paper-based mail
  2. Reducing carbon emissions by reducing paper-based mail

Reducing Costs

Even today, many organisations such as governments, NGOs and health boards are responsible for sending a large amount of paper mail.  Admittedly, that is decreasing as email and/or “secure mail” becomes more common. Most of this paper deluge contains no confidential information, and it’s this mail that we are specifically targeting as part of improving costs and reducing the traditional environmental impact of paper-based mail.

With paper mail you have costs such as

  1. Postage:  Easy to quantify, as you pay by the item or the kilogram.  The postage line item on any balance sheet is generally a surprisingly high number.
  2. Paper and Printing:  Less easy to quantify for in-house supplies but outsource your paper communications and those regular invoices from ACME Printing and Distribution start to add up.
  3. The cost of addressing, sealing, stamping, and mailing: Sure, the intern is probably doing this, but if you have any significant mail, this cost in salary quickly adds up.
  4. Item 3 includes the wages and other overhead expense, including space occupied, depreciation on the equipment, etc. This means the price of a traditional letter is going to be disproportionately high when compared with the ROI.  Lets not even start on the potential for it to be “lost in the mail” or stolen by a disgruntled or lazy postal employee (118,000 results on Google, just saying…).

We propose that this information can be delivered through a more cost effective mechanism – SMS or Text Messaging. The cost of a single text message will be significantly lower versus the cost of a traditional paper letter but that is just the economic  part of this two-part eco equation.

Reducing Carbon Emissions

The second part is the benefit to our ecology by reducing waste, fossil fuels and the grunts of frustration caused by excessive paper mail.  According to a Pitney Bowes study on the environmental impact of mail¹, the distribution of paper mail generates on average around 20 grams of CO² per letter, with a further 0.9 – 1.3 grams of CO2 generated per gram of paper during the creation of the letter.

According to Mike Berners-Lee’s book “How Bad are Bananas?” ², a text message generates around 0.014 grams of CO2.

For any organisation committed to reducing carbon emissions, replacing legacy paper mail notifications with text messages is a very quick win and one that will be appreciated by growth in the polar bear population and your bottom line.

Works Cited