Archive for the ‘Green IT’ Category

The Greenest Business Travel is No Travel

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Business travel costs a lot in more ways than one.  It costs businesses money, thousands of dollars a trip for business class airfare, and with many companies squeezed by the slowing economy and rising airfares, travel budgets are getting the squeeze as well.

The reduction in business travel may be another problem for the travel industry, but an opportunity for those who can provide alternatives.  In addition to costing money, business travel can also be hard on the environment, contributing to climate change.  Providing better ways to collaborate, other than flying to business meetings and conferences, provides an opportunity for businesses to save time and money and to reduce their carbon footprint at the same time.

Teleconferencing solutions are one green alternative.  Newer systems are far better than just a few years ago, and can range from simple do-it-yourself meetings via webcams, to sophisticated solutions such as the Telepresence system from Nortel:

Others are developing virtual worlds as the solution for collaboration without travel, such as the Second Life virtual world.  While virtual worlds may sound a little “out there” serious businesses are using them to improve collaboration of workers spread across the globe, allowing more routine and perhaps even better collaboration than infrequent business meetings can allow:

Conferences are another big opportunity.  The Virtual Energy Forum was held June 10-11, strictly over the internet, attracting top name participants from government and industry to discuss developments in energy.  The potential climate impact of holding such an event on-line, with thousands of people staying home, is significant.