Video conferences would reduce the carbon footprint by 94%
Virtual conferences are less greedy in greenhouse gases than face-to-face ones.
Switching meetings and conferences to virtual mode would reduce the carbon footprint by 94%, according to an American study. A considerable drop due in particular to the disappearance of the transport parameter. & Nbsp;
Since its onset in 2020, the health crisis has forced event planners and businesses to make their conferences and meetings virtual. This transition from face-to-face to virtual mode has unsurprisingly resulted in benefits for the environment. Researchers at Cornell University in the United States have managed to quantify these benefits. According to them, holding events online instead of face-to-face would “significantly reduce the carbon footprint by 94%”.
According to several scenarios of face-to-face, hybrid and remote meetings, imagined on the same event, the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA), the largest annual conference in North America, they drew up results on the variations of the carbon footprint depending on whether the conference is being held remotely or not. & nbsp;
To calculate more accurately, the researchers took into account several parameters, which can change dramatically as soon as the event takes place virtually: food preparation, accommodation, preparation and execution of information and communication as well as transport. & nbsp;
Transport, “hot” point of the environment
Transport is precisely one of the most important points in the fluctuation of the carbon footprint of such a conference. According to the study, “10 to 20% of participants whose journeys are the most polluting contribute a significant share (20 to 70%) of the total emissions induced by transport”.
First because, “most of the participants come from the region where the conferences are held”, but also because depending on the city, “a conference venue better served by train to other large cities allows a greater number of participants from traveling by train and therefore has a better potential for reducing the carbon footprint, “the researchers note.
< strong> The hybrid & rsquo; compromise
Although virtual conferences have many advantages and remain less greedy in greenhouse gases than face-to-face ones, the lack of human connection and spontaneity are also parameters to be integrated. “To maintain over 50% in-person attendance, carefully selected hybrid conference centers have the potential to reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption by two-thirds,” the study summarizes.