In-person meetings generate 66x more carbon than virtual ones

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Here’s a note from Nawar Alsaddi:

Although many professionals are tired of virtual meetings, such meetings are far less harmful to the climate than actual meetings. A report by Michigan University examining the carbon impact a large 6 hours zoom meeting concluded the following:

“The report found that six hours of large Zoom meetings generated 1,324 kg of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s equivalent to driving almost 3,300 miles or burning 750 kilograms of coal. However, they were still much greener than traditional conferences, which on average can be expected to generate around 66 times more carbon.”

The 66 times number above refers only to the carbon impact of air travel, if we were to include hotel stays and road transport, we would be looking at even higher carbon total. Furthermore, once we green the grid, virtual meetings will emit even less GHG emissions. Whenever Covid is behind us, we shouldn’t go back to business as usual when it comes to business travel, virtual meetings should continue to play a key role.