UZH-Logo

Effects of internet-based multiple-site conferences on greenhouse gas emissions


Coroama, Vlad; Hilty, Lorenz; Birtel, Martin (2012). Effects of internet-based multiple-site conferences on greenhouse gas emissions. Telematics and Informatics, 29(4):362-374.

Abstract

There is a growing consensus that ICT can make an important contribution towards the reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, both by increasing the efficiency of existing processes, and by enabling substitution effects in an effort to implement more energy efficient paradigms in production and consumption. While, however, many studies based on theoretical reduction potentials have been presented, in practice, it has only been possible to cite a few examples of such reductions thus far. This paper presents the results of a first field experiment for one particular domain in which ICT can be substituted for more carbon-intensive technologies: using advanced videoconferencing technology to reduce intercontinental conference travel and thus travel-related greenhouse gas emissions. We organized a large resource management conference simultaneously on two continents and assessed the emissions caused by the attendees’ travel and by the Internet traffic and the additional equipment needed to connect the two venues. We further assessed, based on a survey, the emissions in the alternative scenarios of holding the conference at either one of the places, and the satisfaction of the participants with the two-site conference format. The results show that reductions of 37% and 50% in travel-related greenhouse gas emissions were attained as compared to the one-site alternatives, although more people took part than in any of these alternatives. At the same time, the attendees' experience has been overwhelmingly positive, showing that the multiple-site paradigm can serve as an acceptable alternative to the traditional one-site paradigm of holding an international conference.

There is a growing consensus that ICT can make an important contribution towards the reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, both by increasing the efficiency of existing processes, and by enabling substitution effects in an effort to implement more energy efficient paradigms in production and consumption. While, however, many studies based on theoretical reduction potentials have been presented, in practice, it has only been possible to cite a few examples of such reductions thus far. This paper presents the results of a first field experiment for one particular domain in which ICT can be substituted for more carbon-intensive technologies: using advanced videoconferencing technology to reduce intercontinental conference travel and thus travel-related greenhouse gas emissions. We organized a large resource management conference simultaneously on two continents and assessed the emissions caused by the attendees’ travel and by the Internet traffic and the additional equipment needed to connect the two venues. We further assessed, based on a survey, the emissions in the alternative scenarios of holding the conference at either one of the places, and the satisfaction of the participants with the two-site conference format. The results show that reductions of 37% and 50% in travel-related greenhouse gas emissions were attained as compared to the one-site alternatives, although more people took part than in any of these alternatives. At the same time, the attendees' experience has been overwhelmingly positive, showing that the multiple-site paradigm can serve as an acceptable alternative to the traditional one-site paradigm of holding an international conference.

Citations

12 citations in Web of Science®
15 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

41 downloads since deposited on 09 Feb 2012
7 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:09 Feb 2012 14:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:25
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0736-5853 (P) 1879-324X (E)
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.tele.2011.11.006
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:6326
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-55853

Download

[img]Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 752kB
View at publisher

[img]
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 448kB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations