Part 1: How Can Customer Service Reduce Carbon Emissions?

For many customers, environmental and climate issues are important. This curates an opportunity for companies to demonstrate their commitment and, through this, increase sales and customer loyalty. But how can customer service support a company’s climate goals while maintaining or even improving service levels? Environmentally friendly customer service rests on a structure that benefits the planet and fosters lasting customer relationships. In three articles, we will show how companies can adapt their customer service to aid the climate and drive sustainable outcomes.

Customer Service: What Really Affects Emissions?

In customer service, the need for paper has decreased as digital channels and customer management tools have evolved. Reduced use of consumables and waste sorting are good practices that contribute to a circular economy and encourage us to consider the environment.

However, what really has a positive impact on the climate is reducing energy consumption. Customer service’s contributions are: 1) higher efficiency, 2) where work is performed, and 3) what type of energy is used. For example, consider a customer service department that handles 100,000 inquiries annually:

  • Each inquiry takes an average of 4 minutes to resolve. The cost amounts to £ 3,80 each.
  • All work is performed from a modern office that is energy-efficient in terms of ventilation, heating, and lighting.
  • Employees commute an average of 5 miles by bus to the office.
  • Inquiries are managed digitally with a mix of renewable and traditional energy.
  • This would mean that each inquiry causes an emission of 28.67 grams of CO2. For 100,000 inquiries, the total is 3.4 tons.

Increase Efficiency

Reducing the number of inquiries and the time to resolve them lowers energy consumption. If the number of inquiries decreases by 30% to 84,000 and the time per inquiry by 25% to 3 minutes, the CO2 emissions drop to 21.50 grams per inquiry. This saves about 1.6 tons of CO2. The cost per inquiry decreases at the same time to £ 2,80, a reduction of 26%! Read about how we can help you with such customer service efficiency improvements.

Work From Home

Covid-19 led to more people working from home. The need for smaller premises reduced rental costs and energy consumption compared to physical call centers. Most importantly, it reduced commuting time and transport emissions since the journey to the office was eliminated. If half of the inquiries are handled from home and half from the office, the average emissions per inquiry decrease from 21.50 grams to 12.30 grams. This corresponds to a further saving of 771 kilograms of CO2.

Use Renewable Energy

Regardless of whether efficiency increases and work is done from home, data power is required. As data centers consume a lot of energy, increased CO2 emissions are a risk. Check if your company uses renewable energy for server operations. If customer service inquiries are driven with renewable energy and combined with the above measures, the CO2 emissions are near zero.


As society strives for a sustainable future, the role of customer service becomes increasingly important in achieving these goals. The 3.4 tons of CO2 we give as an example for handling 100,000 inquiries, that may not seem like much. But if you think about how many billions of inquiries that are handled globally each year, your perspective changes.

By implementing strategies in customer service that reduce CO2 emissions such as increasing efficiency, encouraging home working, and using renewable energy, companies can not only reduce their climate impact and costs but also strengthen their customer relationships.

To succeed, companies have the opportunity to view climate work as part of their business model. Customer service can be a driving force that develops new ways to create frictionless customer relations while promoting a sustainable lifestyle. This includes everything that promotes reduced resource needs, from decreasing the need for transport to optimizing and streamlining services.

Further Reading on How Customer Service Can Contribute to Increased Sustainability:

Part 2: How can inclusive customer dialouges increase sustainability?

Part 3: How do you create a sustainable work environment in customer service?