If one third of Australian business travellers replaced just one trip with video conferencing, the avoided cost of air travel would be $2.2 billion each year, with 960 million litres of aviation fuel also being saved.
Such was the finding of the report, Towards a High-Bandwidth, Low-Carbon Future, as quoted in a new publication ICT, Success and Sustainability. ICT being trade jargon for Information and Communication Technology. The paper, prepared as a collaboration between Telstra (Australia's largest telecommunication firm) and WWF Australia, was put together to highlight how large companies could use a set of tools to "estimate the environmental and financial benefits of ICT investment." And some of figures are, at first glance, impressive.On Video Conferencing;
A large company that spends approximately one million dollars in interstate travel per year could save 200 tonnes of CO2 per annum by implementing a high-definition video conferencing service that could be paid off through reduced travel expenditure in around seven months.
An organisation with 1800 employees could reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 500 tonnes of CO2 per annum by encouraging 200 staff to work remotely from home three days a week.
In the executive summary (PDF) of the report we learn that WWF "concluded that if ICT was widely used it could help deliver two to seven billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions annually, simply by scaling up proven, profitable solutions."
Now many Australians, disenchanted with Telstra, might be sceptical about the agenda behind such a publication, no matter the quality of its content. But it might be that dollars are indeed behind the push to be greener. Because we spied this finding, from independent research, quoted in the document (we've added the emphasis):
... sustainability will become more mainstream, the world in the next 15 years will need to structure its growth differently from the last 20 years, and sustainability is becoming increasingly relevant to society, governments, firms, and therefore also shareholders.
Go the shareholders! Let's get some bottom-up action happening on sustainability.
The summary and full report can be downloaded from the Telstra Enterprise Sustainability webpage, or from WWF (see below)
It looks like WWF have a bit of a bee in their bonnet regarding the environmental benefits of Information and Communication Technology, and have been pursuing it across the globe, 'cos just yesterday Jaymi had a similar IT story involving WWF
::WWF Australia Via EcoMedia
More Telecommuting and Video Conferencing
• How to Go Green: At Work
• Telecommuting is Green and Saves Money, but Most Employers still Resist it
• Using Life Cycle Analysis to Reduce Emissions and Encourage Video Conferencing
• IPCC Scientist Encourages Companies to Replace Travel With Video Conferencing
• OK, Telecommuting is Green, What about Skype and IM?