Webcasting events seriously reduce your carbon footprint
- according to key findings of a report from co2balance
commissioned by BroadView.
The findings demonstrated just how green web-based events
are compared with their live equivalent.
The research - by carbon management specialist co2balance
- compared the carbon footprint of a traditional conference
compared with a webcast. The results show that if they had
attended the event, viewers of the webcast would have used
3.7 tonnes more CO2 each than they did
by watching online. This would have multiplied their carbon
footprint by a staggering 17,222.
The event in question was a pharmaceutical conference in
New Orleans, US, which required delegates to fly to attend
and stay overnight. co2balance used the actual location
of those watching online as the basis for its research to
calculate how much carbon they would have used had they attended.
"Not all events are as global in nature as this one
and many will have a lower carbon footprint" - said Stuart
Maister, managing director of BroadView. "Nevertheless,
the difference in CO2 generated is so
large, it’s clear that the web version is the greener option."
However, webcasts are not carbon-free and factored into the
research was the energy used by the production crew, the webcasting
servers and the PCs for viewing the event. The report from
co2balance maintains that the carbon footprint of the
webcast is minimal and would get smaller as the number of
delegates increased. This is due to shared server usage and
other shared resources, such as TV cameras and lighting.
According to the researchers at co2balance, BroadView
is providing a significantly more sustainable form of conferencing
than the traditional model - all by eliminating the need for
Among BroadView’s clients for virtual events has been the
global accountancy body - ACCA.
"By webcasting our AGM we enable our global membership
to engage with a vital part of ACCA's governance process in
a way that is convenient to them and reduces the environmental
impact of travel associated with attendance in person. The
webcast has been very well received by members and viewings
have increased substantially year-on-year" - said Michelle
Nicolson, head of corporate marketing, ACCA.
"No-one will replace live events for their impact and
for networking" - added Maister. "However, this
report was designed to show that extending the event online
- or creating additional web-based programmes to engage audiences
- is a green option as well as a cost-effective one."