Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Avoid Flying

From the research that I've done there are still a lot of IT companies that feel they have very little impact on climate change, because there are few emissions associated with their business activities. However, there is one area that most will agree is a candidate for reducing a carbon footprint and that's business travel, particularly since travel and transport accounts for as much as 40% of greenhouse gases in developed economies.

It's particularly applicable to IT services companies since this is an increasingly globalised business world and the IT players seek out global companies as the best customers with the largest and most profitable business opportunities. Global sourcing, i.e. from India, China and elsewhere, and delivery around the world is an essential part of the industry.

This is an area that WWF is already targeting and in a report earlier this year (Travelling Light) revealed that:

- 62% of companies surveyed are already reducing their business travel footprint.
- A further 24% of companies are currently developing plans to do so.
- 89% of companies expect they will want to fly less over the next 10 years.
- 85% of companies say that videoconferencing can help them reduce their flying.
- 89% of companies believe that videoconferencing can improve their productivity.

The WWF is urging companies to cut flights by 20% and the Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) supported the call at an event last week by asking companies to use more video conferencing. He made his appeal via a live video link, of course.

IT companies need to make sure that they are also moving in this direction and, indeed, have the means to measure and monitor the carbon footprint of their travel, not just as a company but also for individual projects. Customers will ask.

© The Green IT Review

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