Next time you begrudge an early morning video conference, consider the reduced carbon emission of your tele-presence tête-à-tête. A new report by the Carbon Disclosure Project sponsored by AT&T shows that videoconferencing can equal cost and carbon-cutting for companies that make use of the virtual meetings.
According to the report, adding a telepresence to their repertoire can mean U.S. and U.K. businesses "cut CO2 emissions by nearly 5.5 million metric tons in total...and achieve total economy-wide financial benefits of almost $19 billion, by 2020." As businesses are forced to cut back drastically in both areas to survive the latest economic slump and get ready for stricter regulations in GHG emissions, we could see a big jump in the use of telecommunications instead of face-to-face meetings and cross-country flights.
The report, titled "The Telepresence Revolution", concluded that along with helping to "speed decision-making, improve employee productivity, and provide workers with a better work-life balance," having a telepresence is a big boon for big businesses.
If our re-envisioning of smart business communication incorporates Skype, and similar telecommuting software that work to curb CO2 emissions, that’s fantastic. And if video conferencing allows for discreetly remaining in your pajama bottoms on those work from home days, even better.