We all have a carbon footprint – the amount of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas or GHG) – released into the atmosphere when we do something that requires fossil fuel to be burned. Greenhouse gases are widely believed to be the cause of global warming which has disrupted the climate around the world.
Though we can all help reduce carbon emissions on an individual level it’s especially important that businesses play their part too – at the moment business and travel is responsible for over 40% of the UK’s GHG emissions. Technology can play a huge part in helping businesses lower their carbon emissions through reducing the need for travel. Here are a couple of examples of how to use technology to reduce your carbon footprint.
For many businesses travel forms their biggest expense – travel to meetings, travel to suppliers, travel overseas to work with global partners, travel expenses for staff and so on – and it results in a huge carbon output too. Much of this travel can be eliminated through the use of video conferencing technology. Whereas in the past video conferencing was unreliable, with pixelated images and a time lag between picture and sound, the new systems incorporate high definition video and audio, making remote communication as easy to manage as face to face meetings. Video conferencing is no longer out of the reach of SMEs either – the range extends from free peer-to-peer services to dedicated systems and there’s an option for every business, whatever their budget. And depending on the system you choose you may be able to deploy video conferencing to hundreds of people cost-effectively, meaning it’s easier for your staff to work from home and reduce their own individual carbon footprint too.
Another way to cut down on travel is by using interactive white boards, such as SMART Boards. Collaboration used to mean everyone in the same room at the same time – which of course could involve travel, and time out of the office too. SMART Boards let you collaborate with people all over the world, sharing and working on data together, in real-time, reducing the need for travel. Software such as SMART Bridget lets you access SMART Board sessions from your iPhone or iPad, meaning staff can collaborate from their own homes or while on the move. And because SMART Boards use digital ink and you can save and share your sessions, there’s no need for flipcharts or note takers either, so you reduce your paper consumption too.
We all need to do our bit for the environment – and demonstrating your green credentials through making the most of technology to reduce your travel will give you an ethical advantage over your competitors whilst saving you time and money and improving your productivity and effectiveness too.
Contact Smarter Interactive today to find out more about how technology can reduce your carbon footprint – or download our free white paper to find out more about the economic and environmental aspects of using video conferencing technologies.