We all know that you can save a ton of money and time by holding an online meeting.  It just makes sense – get everyone together on the phone and save gas costs, air fare costs, travel time and more.  What if you could save a ton of CO2 as well?  CO2 emissions, anyway…

This morning I did some investigation.  It turns out that online meetings with services like Calliflower are a pretty environmentally friendly alternative.  Over at whatsmycarbonfootprint.com they’ve published the GHG Protocol figures for air travel:

  • Short haul flights (less than 300 miles) produce 0.64 lbs/mile of CO2 per passenger.
  • Medium haul flights (less than 1000 miles) produce 0.44 lbs/mile of CO2 per passenger.
  • Long haul flights (more than 1000 miles) produce 0.39 lbs/mile of CO2 per passenger.

So lets say I wanted to have a meeting online with someone in Toronto (270 miles from Ottawa), San Francisco (2900 miles from Ottawa), and Chicago (750 miles from Ottawa).  If we all met in Ottawa instead of online, the CO2 generated by our air travel would be 270×0.64 + 750×0.44 + 2900×0.39 = 1634 lbs, or 0.8 tons, of CO2.

So, what does that mean?  To put it in perspective, the average North American generates 20 tons of CO2 emissions in a year.  Replacing 4 or 5 trips per year with online meetings with Calliflower (or any other service, for that matter) could represent a 25% reduction in emissions for an average person.

Neat, isn’t it?  And think of all the money you’ll save too…