Major environmental improvement attainable with high definition video technology; Employees eager to embrace telepresence

Earth Day observers around the world seek constructive actions to environmental issues, and Lifesize Communications, the global leader in high definition visual communications, offers powerful solutions to reduce air travel, which is often the largest contributor to a company’s carbon footprint.

Companies of any size can embrace telepresence, a technology that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions, accelerate business operations, improve efficiency and increase employee satisfaction. Each trip avoided by using video conferencing systems has a direct, measurable reduction in an organization’s carbon footprint. By reducing the need to travel, companies using Lifesize can have a profound and positive impact on the environment.

“Earth Day is no longer about awareness, but about action – and embracing telepresence is one of the most significant changes a company can make.” said Craig Malloy, Lifesize CEO. “People know what the issues are, but they’re frustrated by their inability to make any significant change in their carbon footprint. Driving a hybrid car to the airport is a start, but wouldn’t it be better to connect over video and avoid the plane trip entirely?”

Environmental initiatives are becoming a driving force in business travel decisions, adding to an increased bias against travel. In the last decade, air travel has become unbearable – flights are routinely delayed and cancelled. Global business means flights are longer, and heightened security adds additional delay and inconvenience. As fuel costs rise, travel increasingly becomes cost-prohibitive. Telepresence effectively addresses all of these issues.

“The misery of air travel combined with a powerful desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, has created an ideal environment where people are actively seeking solutions like high definition video communications,“ said Malloy. “Employees, customers and shareholders are demanding change. They want to work smarter and pollute less. They want their companies to become leaders in environmental efficiency, and Lifesize technology can help them achieve all of these goals.”

Significant air travel reduction can be achieved quite easily if the right tools are in place. To help companies achieve their travel reduction goal, it is helpful focus on internal trips – and to remember why they feel the need to travel.

Employees travel because the phone and email aren’t enough to stay in sync with their colleagues around the world. With high definition video, employees enjoy instant face-to-face communication. The images are crisp, the motion is fluid, the sound is realistic and the experience feels entirely natural. By providing a superior means of connecting employees, technology to achieve this goal is available today and quickly pays for itself.

Quality matters when it comes to technology adoption, said Malloy. “I’ve been in the video communication business for 15 years, but until we pioneered high definition, video was a technology of last resort – something you used only if you had to.”

“Now, I have perfect high definition connections to everyone in my company. I make HD video calls all over the world over our existing broadband network at zero incremental cost. High definition completely changes the way we operate as a company and the way I do my job as CEO. We’ve built a world-class company with significant international operations faster than I ever thought possible because we use high definition video.”

In January, Lifesize announced Lifesize® PlanetWise™, a comprehensive environmental initiative to promote green technologies that reduce pollution, improve the company’s environmental efficiency and provide pro-bono support to leading environmental non-governmental organizations. Information on the environmental benefits of video communication can be found at

“Don’t just think green – take action and be green. I hope leaders at companies around the world take a moment on Earth Day to think out of the box. Picture a fleet of jet fuel trucks in your company parking lot – that’s your carbon footprint. Then, see how technology can reduce your need to travel.

“Real environmental change can only happen when many people change their behavior. At Lifesize, our greatest contribution to the environment is to create a communication experience so lifelike that it is preferable to travel and affordable enough for mainstream adoption.”

Video communication facts

By implementing high definition video communications, companies can make an immediate, measurable and lasting change in their carbon footprint by reducing car, train and air travel.

For most individuals, air travel is the single greatest variable in their total carbon footprint. While all reductions in carbon dioxide emission are desirable, a single jet trip can completely outstrip the carbon dioxide savings made in other areas. Video communications can reduce or eliminate the need to make routine plane trips all together.

Average carbon footprint of jet travel:

  • Short-haul round trip (New York-Chicago, Frankfurt-London):0.75-1.25 metric tons of CO2 each trip
  • Medium-haul round trip (Hong Kong-Beijing, New York-Los Angeles): 1.5-3 metric tons of CO2 each trip
  • Long-haul round trip (London-New York, Sydney-Tokyo, Singapore-Dubai, Miami-Rio de Janerio): 3.5-7 metric tons of CO2 each trip

Frequent car trips can create a large increase in an individual’s carbon footprint as well. Employees whose job duties require regular commuting to other locations for meetings can realize great savings if meetings can be conducted using video instead.

Average carbon footprint of local travel

  • Daily cross-town trip (20 miles each way), average car (20 mpg city) 5 days per week: 3.51 metric tons of CO2 annually
  • Daily cross-town trip, full-size SUV or truck (12 mpg city) 5 days per week: 5.85 metric tons of CO2 annually

Because the electricity used for video calls is nearly negligible in comparison to the energy used to travel, each video call that saves a trip is a direct reduction of carbon output.