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.