Emerging Tech

Shipping to Streaming: Is This Shift Green?

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Executive Summary

Streaming movies over the Internet has become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to mailing DVDs to a customer. In this paper the authors investigate the environmental- and energy-related impacts of these two methods of movie content delivery. They compare the total energy consumed and the carbon footprint impact of these two delivery methods and find that the non-energy optimized streaming of a movie through the Internet consumes approximately 78% of the energy needed to ship a movie, but has a carbon footprint that is approximately 100% higher.

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