One of the ancillary benefits of web conferencing that is sometimes overlooked is that by meeting virtually instead of face-to-face, carbon emissions are reduced. I like to include a slide at the beginning of each web conference that describes “what we saved,” to emphasize how web conferencing can contribute to carbon footprint reductions.
1. First, Calculate carbon emissions from transportation. Enter participants’ flight info, or estimate where all participants would have come from, and come up with one average flight. Then multiply the emissions for that flight by # of participants. You can use emissions calculators from CarbonFund.org or Terrapass.com
For example, if you have a web conference with 30 participants and half of them would have flown from New York to Dallas-Fort Worth Texas (2,700 miles each or 40,500 total round trip) the carbon emissions would have been 7.57 tons for the flights alone.
2. Next, convert the tons of carbon saved into something more tangible. The EPA has a great Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. Use Option 2 and input CO2 totals from #1 above, then click “Calculate Equivalencies.” You’ll get a variety of results to choose from – select the ones that will resonate with your audience.
Following the above example, 7.57 tons of emissions is the equivalent of recycling 2.4 tons of waste or the emissions from 16 barrels of oil.