The World Wildlife Fund has implemented a video conferencing system in the UK to help reduce its carbon dioxide emissions, according to Computing.co.uk.
David Southern, WWF UK head of IT, said: “We have to practise what we preach, and we need to ensure that our staff can work in a collaborative and effective way wherever they are.”
Video conference facilities help to reduce carbon emissions by greatly reducing the amount of travel required within an organisation. Instead of commuting miles for a meeting, people can stay at the office and use video software to hold virtual meetings.
That presents benefits to the bottom line because the cost of travel is eliminated. It also boosts productivity because employees won’t be leaving the office and spending vast amounts of time commuting – there is less ‘down time’.
Video conferencing enhances any conversation you can have over the phone because it allows for non-verbal communication such as body language and facial expressions. It enables you to present things, such as a new prototype or design, that you couldn’t over the phone or by email.
A report by the WWF found that, whilst the energy required to run video conferencing did have an impact on the environment, this was significantly smaller than the carbon footprint of people travelling to hold the same meeting face-to-face. A study by a Japanese company found that holding a 115 minute video conference produced 80% less carbon dioxide emissions compared to a face-to-face conference.
The WWF surveyed FTSE 350 companies and found that 85% believe video conferencing has the potential to reduce their business flying.