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Conference calls: Good communication that’s good for the planet

Hey conference caller, let’s hit you with some facts:

  • The latest Government statistics show that transport is the number 1 contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, and travelling for work (either commuting or on business) is the main reason for travel.
  • Conference calls allow us to travel less, by keeping in touch whilst working from home or by holding meetings over the phone without having to leave our desks.
  • This allows us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, whilst also saving time and money.

As we move well into the 21st century, businesses, non-profits, schools and other organisations simply cannot afford to ignore rapid changes in technology and working habits.

They need to keep evolving from an environmental standpoint – making sure that sustainability is considered properly – and they need to keep up to date with new technologies and our digital culture to avoid being left behind. By 2020, it’s predicted that more than half of the UK workforce will be millennials. This generation is agile with technology and tend to be more environmentally conscious than older generations.

Embracing the use of conference calls and modern communication tools is a cultural change – a change of mindset – as much as a technological change.

Conference calls offer a very simple and effective way to increase the efficiency of your communication and reduce your negative impacts on the environment at the same time. Often we find ourselves travelling to meet with colleagues, clients or friends to discuss important topics, and on many occasions, if we really thought about it we could have achieved the same goals with a simple conference call.

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Here at WHYPAY? we’re encouraging businesses, charities, sports clubs and any other type of organisation to make more use of conference calls as a tool for improving environmental and organisational sustainability. Embracing the use of conference calls and other communication tools is a cultural change – a change of mindset – as much as a technological change. Taking a step back and re-assessing our own communication patterns can result in some real improvements for ourselves and for our planet.

Meeting in person will never disappear

Of course, face-to-face meetings will never disappear and will always have their merits. Sometimes there is a level of human connection that simply cannot be obtained without being in the same room. But how many of your meetings truly require this? How many times have you organised a face-to-face because it’s just what you’re used to or because you like to meet at your favourite cafe or lunch spot? Could you be using technology to reduce the time and money spent on some of your meetings?

Why it matters

People (and businesses) who try to reduce their environmental impact don’t do it out of choice – they do it because they feel a sense of responsibility to the world around them. If you’re not feeling this sense of responsibility the chances are you’ve not looked into it enough. Here are some more facts:

  • 97% of the world’s climate scientists agree that climate change is a real threat and that urgent action is needed.
  • The UK Committee on Climate Change’s latest report predicts damaging consequences for a poorly equipped nation, including deadly heatwaves, increased flooding events and water shortages.
  • As this blog post is written (25/02/2019), it is over 20 degrees in parts of the UK and the hottest day ever recorded in February.

Of course, as many scientists are quick to point out, we must be careful not to confuse weather and climate change. One is highly variable and the other is much more about slow-moving averages. But when the people who spend every day of their lives trying to understand how the climate works are up in arms and warning us that urgent action is needed, we should probably be taking actions to solve the problem.

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It’s not just about efficiencies: Learning from the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ concept

Recycling is an activity that tends to make a lot of sense. Even if you think the Earth is flat and global warming is a myth, waste is generally something to be avoided, and the more efficiently we use materials the better. Recycling is something most of us are now doing regularly, with UK homes placing around 50% of their waste into recycling bins (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-collected-waste-management-annual-results). That’s a lot less rubbish going to landfill and it’s a truly magnificent thing. But consumers are becoming more and more aware now that this simply isn’t enough. We need to reduce our demand for non-recyclable materials altogether, before we even get to the question of recycling. If we can just change our thinking so that the ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse’ parts of the mantra are front of mind, we can arguably do a lot more to help the planet.

Travelling to meetings has many parallels here. Many businesses are putting lots of effort into increasing efficiencies, for example with carpooling initiatives for their commuting employees, but what if we can ‘reduce’ travel impacts at their source? How about travelling less? Do we really need to travel as much as we do for work? Could we achieve very similar results by holding a conference call instead of travelling to meet a client at their office?

Start conferencing now

One simple tool that can make one big difference to your environmental impact.

With WHYPAY? it’s so easy and simple to start reducing your travel requirements, freeing up time for more important stuff whilst still communicating effectively with others. You can hold a telephone meeting with as many as 100 other people at once, and your conference details are always live and ready for use. It literally takes seconds to dial-in and start collaborating over the phone.

If you’ve not created a conference room yet you can do it now. Alternatively, log into your existing account.

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Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

ElliotConference calls: Good communication that’s good for the planet
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