Carbon Footprint and teleconference

Check out this site to measure your carbon output….aka “carbon footprint”.

Embarrassingly enough….my footprint is 2.5x the national US average.  90% of the output is due to my 2x a month trips from San Francisco to New York City for work (ie visit HQ).   Difficult to reduce unless teleconferencing becomes more ubiquitous and a better experience.  Sales professionals will always probably require a face to face…ie who wants to open the wallet and spend without a handshake, a smile or a drink!?

Here are my carbon footprint results:

·    The average persons total carbon footprint in the USA is about 19,000 kg per year. 

·    The average for all industrial nations is about 11,000 kg per year.

·    The world-wide average is 4,000kg per year.

·    To stop combat climate change the world-wide average needs to be reduced to about 2,000kg per year.

To do this isn’t easy, but to start with I need to:

1. Buy electricity from a renewable energy supplier

2. Reduce the number of flights

3. Car share or use public transport more.

4. Use less energy at home and at work. 

I wonder what will enable a traveler like myself to reduce these emissions.  Wired had an interesting story on the latest and greatest teleconferencing tool.   330 people attended a “telepresence conference” in San Diego last month.  

“…a forecast by Wainhouse Research [predicting] that the telepresence market will grow by 100 percent over each of the next four years, although the firm doesn’t expect the industry will reach the $1 billion mark by 2011.”

…Is there an opportunity to drastically change the nature of meetings with a better teleconference user experience? A company called Teliris seems to have a very expensive product….but one that users seem to love.  Interesting to see how this plays out.

4 responses to “Carbon Footprint and teleconference

  1. Hi Jason,

    Good to see you taking this stuff seriously.

    I was at a conference in London recently ‘corporate climate response’ was its title. Anyway, one of the things that ammused me was some top carbon strategy guy from BT berrating some other guy who is working for Standard Chartered Bank about the fact that they should do a bit more teleconferencing.

    BT try not to fly people to speak at conferences, or take part in business arrangements if it can be done by conference call. They make the exception for instances where a contract is about to be signed, last minute negotiations etc best done face to face.

    Another part of the conference was about carbon offsetting. Basically the principle is sounds, but some of the projects (quite a number infact) are really dodgy.

    The idea is that if you have a limited amount of cash, lets be generous and say $30’000. If you where to spend this on your house you might be able to save annual energy requirements representing say 2 tonnes of co2 per year. If you spent this contributing towards biomass electricity generation in south africa you could well displace coal and your portion of the investment could save 200 tonnes per year.

    I personally offset my emissions with ClimateCare or MyClimate I would encourage everyone to do this. Also, carbon footprint is onething what about carbon trail (my term) i plan to make my life carbon neutral (from birth to now) so that i havent contributed net to this whole horrific problem.

  2. calvin…alot to do on the consumer side.

    What if there was a market to buy and sell carbon at the consumer level? Not sure of “why” people would do this…other than that they are conscious of the problem?

    What if they got a tax credit or a reduction in their electricity bill if they can demonstrate a decrease?

  3. Here is another idea — fly during the day rather than at night because emissions into the stratosphere are twice as damaging at night (see,,1797815,00.html ). Also, putting pressure on the aircraft industry to radically increase the efficiency of flying is very important.

  4. oh i can’t believe what i’m seeing with my eye. Zaid Bethanie.

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