Saas As A Greener Alternative?

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Open Source Leaders Rise At Sun

It has been long-known that online collaboration tools, voice and video conferencing, and other technologies can save a lot of travel and time, and now some companies are extending these same tools to lower greenhouse emissions. Catalyst Resources, designer of user interfaces and web applications, have run a trial to work out the enviromental savings of using a simple web-based collaboration platform. Initially an attempt to boost productivity by coordinating team activities and client relations online, Catalyst found that the platform encouraged telecommuting and eliminated the need for team meetings and face-to-face interaction. As a result, travel became less of a necessity, and the environment was spared an estimated 21,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per month. All this while reducing expenses and increasing billable activities by nearly 20%.

Catalyst stressed that excellent user experiences were vital to the platform’s success, otherwise the idea would never have survived in a world dominated by email, face-to-face meetings, and hard copy documents.

Saving the world? Maybe an exaggeration, but it’s a step in the right direction. For more on the experiment check out the release from Catalyst.

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  • Kevin Doherty

    Our model has been, in large part, modeled around this very idea… headquartered in Hawaii where gas, traffic, office space, and parking are problems. We offer an entire suite of SaaS business applications that are designed to provide the exact same functionality that you could receive if at the office, and are now offering it world-wide. Our suite includes document collaboration, project management, task collaboration, resource management, timesheet, email, instant messenger, mobile, and web conferencing.

    All of which is designed to enable today’s knowledge workers.

    Kevin Doherty
    Phase 2 International

  • Bill Roberts

    It’s very interesting to see some hard numbers for the potential savings you can get from using good collaboration software to cut down on travel.

    I don’t think you can entirely remove the need to meet people face to face, as a personal meeting is still the best way to get to know the people you are working with: but good collaboration software can certainly mean that you don’t need to get together so often. And anyone who has spent too much time in airports on the way to and from business meetings will be glad of that.

    I think there’s also a big efficiency/effectiveness benefit to be gained in better collaboration amongst people in the same place, but that’s probably harder to quantify.

    (Further discussion on our blog).

  • Rebecca

    Technology has taken the business world a long way. Brick N Click for eBay from MTI is an excellent example of how SaaS applications have been decreasing greenhouse emissions. This technology provides an online retail solution that provides 3 online eBay based sales channels, which decreases the amount of travelling and labor that both customer and store owner have to do. You should take their webinar to find out more about their technology ( or visit their page about their SaaS technology and its benefits (

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