Virtual Events, an Effective Step to Reduce Carbon-dioxide (CO2) Emissions

  • 2 min read
  • Oct 13, 2010

“One of the most serious consequences of our actions is global warming brought about by raising levels of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. The danger is that the temperature increase might become self-sustaining, if it has not done so already. We don’t know where the global warming will stop, but the worst case scenario is that earth would become like its sister planet, Venus, with a temperature of 250 centigrade, and raining sulphuric acid. The human race could not survive in those conditions.”

Stephen Hawking, the revered Cambridge professor of Mathematics, theoretical physicist, and author

Everybody must take steps rapidly to reduce the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere to stop the most disastrous impacts of climate change. However, many companies are uncertain about which actions to take.

I have been reminded of the great things virtual events already can do for society. Particularly, they can help out to reduce our greater than ever carbon footprint. Cars, airplanes, and hotel rooms use much more energy than the servers and computers needed to run virtual worlds. The truth that travel is eliminated and a large physical location and hotels are not needed enormously reduces the burning of fossil fuels and use of electricity and water. Providing only electronic collateral saves paper and trees. Take, for example, Cisco’s Global Sales Experience, which 19,000 employees attended virtually. This virtual event prevented 84,400 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere. That’s 3.5 million trees slaving away for a whole year.

Reuters reported that the U.N.’s telecoms arm has urged governments and companies to use information technology to fight global warming. They noted that information technologies can also reduce emissions by at least 15 percent which would be a help in the fight against climate change. According to virtual events platform provider InXpo, each visitor to a virtual meeting saves – on average – 1,217 pounds of carbon dioxide. It would take 25 trees a whole year to absorb that much carbon.

Virtual events unquestionably are an economical and eco-friendly way for organizations of all types to create awareness, generate leads and collaborate with colleagues and partners. Though the economy and travel budget restrictions have been the driving factor in the adoption of virtual event and virtual meeting technologies, the carbon issues and costs related to travel are likely to be the next shoe to drop. Organizations must consider virtual events as an effective step to reduce the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.