Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Capgemini becomes 'One in Five'

On Monday Capgemini announced that it had joined a group of international businesses in committing to cutting business travel flights by one-fifth over the next five years.

It's part of WWF’s ‘One in Five Challenge’, who's founder members also include Marks Spencer, Premiere Global, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Vodafone.

The video gives some background, but basically the independently audited scheme encourages businesses to seek greener alternatives to flying, from video conferencing to train travel, sets yearly flight reduction targets and helps companies to get their staff engaged with the project.

It sounds like a great scheme. As I've commented before, most efforts apparently aimed at reducing air travel have been solely focused on increasing the use of teleconferencing and videoconferencing. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is not a direct link, i.e. more use of videoconferencing does not necessarily produce an equivalent reduction in air travel. This programme is directly aimed at the source of the problem and it's good to see an IT company actively involved.

Although the press release is not explicit, this does seem to be a UK-only initiative, though, which is a shame. It's a little disingenuous not to make that clearer. James Robey, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Capgemini UK (who I met recently for a green profile of the company) is quoted in the press release as saying: “Capgemini is delighted to be a founding member of the WWF 1 in 5 Challenge. The Challenge perfectly complements our target to reduce carbon from business travel by 30% by 2014, and also provides a powerful way of engaging with our people and our customers.” But he only speaks for the UK operation.

© The Green IT Review

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