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Until now, spam’s impact has been measured in time, money, and aggravation. It turns out there is a massive environmental impact as well. McAfee recently commissioned climate-change consultant ICF International and spam expert Richi Jennings to calculate the environmental impact of spam. The results that came back were startling: The energy consumed in transmitting and deleting spam is equivalent to the electricity used in 2.4 million U.S. homes, with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions equivalent to 3.1 million passenger cars.
By taking an environmental approach to email spam, McAfee hopes to aid decision makers working to stem the tide of spam and open a timely conversation about how it affects the planet.