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Spam consumes 33 billion kilowatt-hours of energy annually

McAfee releases revealing report on the environmental impact of spam around the world

The energy used to transmit process and filter spam equals 33 billion kilowatt-hours of energy every year, a new global report on the environmental impact of spam by McAfee has revealed.

That figure can be compared to the equivalent of electricity used in 2.4 million homes, with the same GHG emissions as 3.1 million passenger cars using 2 billion gallons of gasoline.

“As the world faces the growing problem of climate change, this study highlights that spam has an immense financial, personal and environmental impact on businesses and individuals,” said Jeff Green, senior vice president of product development and McAfee Avert Labs. “Stopping spam at its source, as well investing in state-of-the-art spam filtering technology, will save time and money, and will pay dividends to the planet by reducing carbon emissions as well.”

In an interesting finding, spam filtering was found to save enough vast amounts of electricity - the equivalent of taking 13 million cars off the road. Similarly, if every inbox was protected by an effective spam filter, it was found that organizations and individuals could reduce today’s spam energy by 75%.