A recent study conducted by The Carbon Disclosure Project highlighted the impact that telecom technologies can have on companies’ goals of committing to environmentalism.
According to the study, U.S. and U.K. companies using telepresence to supplant some of their business travel can reduce Corporate CO2 emissions by 5.5 million metric tons in total and deliver $19 billion in financial benefits by 2020.
The reduction is equivalent to removing more than one million passenger vehicles from the road for one year, according to the study.
Telepresence allows people to meet from multiple locations typically via large projector screens, which give the impression that all of the persons are in the same room.
The study was performed by Verdantix, an independent analyst research firm. The firm conducted interviews with executives of 15 Global 500 firms, who are the early adopters of telepresence.
While telepresence requires somewhat of a costly upfront investment, the study found that the companies achieved financial return on investments in as little as 15 months.
Additionally, the services offered by AccuConference, smaller applications, such as web, phone or videoconferencing, have been keeping companies in the black and in the green as well.
Environmental Leader, a publication focusing on energy and environmental news for business, reported that British Telecom reduced its carbon footprint by 97,000 tons of CO2 per year, which is 15 percent of its CO2 use, by using phone conferences and videoconferencing to cut back on staff travel.
Phone and teleconferencing generally have a less significant startup cost as they do not require the meeting rooms or large projector screens that telepresence does.
According to the Environmental Leader article: “A company spending as much as $23 million annually on travel can use telepresence to recover as many as 385,000 hours of lost productivity, reduce its carbon footprint by up to 4,200 tons and save up to $7 million.”