Efficient use of Unified Communications solution can reduce carbon footprint of the businesses significantly.
The obvious advantage of UC would be reduction in air travel. Below is one simple example of how we can quantify the amount of reduction in Carbon footprint by avoiding excessive air travel.
If a person takes 1 round trip journey from Bangalore to Delhi (about 1200 miles or 1900 Kilometres) per month, that person would be responsible for emitting 23.808 tonnes of Carbon-dioxide in one year. To offset this impact, one would have to plant 33 trees (not to mention the right species in right parts of the world). Each tree planted "offsets" the environmental impact by "breathing" in about 730 kg CO2 emissions over its lifetime.
(Source: Calculator in www.carbonfootprint.com)
Few more details below on how we can reduce the damage to the environment by using Unified Communications. Microsoft's Unified Communications solution can enable a change in enterprise lifestyles and improve employee productivity while reducing overall carbon footprint.
Air travel is one of the major contributors to carbon emissions. Implementation of the Unified Communications solution can reduce this impact directly by enabling different geographically dispersed teams to work together more effectively by the use of Audio, Video, Web Conferencing and Collaboration tools for functions such as department meetings, product reviews, personnel interviews and online training.
Ground travel can also be avoided by having online collaborative meetings.
Enable working from Remote and Home offices
Employees can be based in offices that are dispersed geographically to avoid congestion within the cities. Employees with certain functions can also work from home and avoid daily commute to distant offices.
Use of Presence to check availability
Usage of Communications systems can be made more efficient by the use of Presence to check the availability of the person before calling. Usage of Presence will avoid a substantial number of failed attempts to communicate over phone.
According to a study, more than 30% of information workers surveyed spend more than 30 minutes per week unsuccessfully attempting to connect with other people via phone.
(Source: Microsoft commissioned Harris Interactive Online Survey, September 2007)
Use of Instant Messaging
By the use of Instant Messaging along with Presence, short and quick communication transactions can be carried out more efficiently, thus avoiding failed attempts to communicate using telephony.
Reduction in Email traffic
With the tools like Presence enabled Instant Messaging and voice calling, there can be a significant amount of reduction in Email traffic. This in turn will result in reduction in energy usage.
Use of Industry standard Servers
Microsoft Unified Communications Solution uses industry standard server infrastructure. These servers will keep reducing their footprint and energy consumption at a faster rate than the vertical Telecom/Networking based PBX vendors leading to better energy savings.
Reduction in End user devices
With Software powered VoIP, a large number of users in the Enterprise can use their computers with headphones as their devices to make calls and eliminate the phones. Also, any upgrades would be on the client application on PC and as a result there would be fewer hardware upgrades as well. These result in the reduced generation of E-waste.
Consolidation of Equipment
Unified Communications Solution uses single network for Voice and Data. Due to the convergence of voice and data, there would be fewer equipment, devices which would result in lower energy consumption and lower footprint.