Deloitte’s global organization and as many as 130 Deloitte member firm locations around the world are installing video conferencing services to cut costs associated with business travel. Nortel will provide and manage the service.
“Being able to meet clients and colleagues in real time without travel is an efficient, effective and environmentally considerate way to address their needs,” said Yezdi Pavri, managing partner for Deloitte Canada’s Toronto office.
By Nortel’s calculations, a company spending as much as $23 million annually on travel can use telepresence to recover as many as 385,000 hours of lost productivity, reduce its carbon footprint by up to 4,200 tons and save up to $7 million.
The video conferencing debate has been heating up lately. Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, recently wrote in a Worldchanging article that Ceres “could buy carbon credits, of course, but why not cut to the chase and replace unnecessary flying with conference calls or, better yet, video conferences – which would allow us to meet face to face without being face to face?”
InterCall recently conducted a survey where individuals were asked what their companies were doing to reduce the size of carbon footprints – the top response was providing conferencing tools to cutback on travel (66%).
BT claims to have reduced its carbon footprint by 97,000 tons of CO2 per year, that’s 15 percent of its CO2 use, by using phone conferences and videoconferencing to cut back on staff travel for meetings.
Second Life may also have a future as a way for companies to reduce business travel.