Virtual Events Help Your Company Go Green

6 July 2015

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a key issue within business with growing public concern about sustainability and the environment, and many companies are seeking ways to ‘go green’ through such methods as recycling, working with eco-friendly suppliers, using sustainable resources in manufacturing, or encouraging employees to car share. By adopting virtual events over traditional business travel, your company can demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability. Virtual events are the perfect fit for companies who want to operate in a more environmentally-friendly fashion due to a number of positive effects virtual events have on a company’s sustainability activities. Business travel is harmful to the environment: virtual events will help your company reduce its carbon footprint as virtual events bring your event to your audience as opposed to flying them to one location for a face-to-face event. Save paper: face-to-face events still rely on large quantities of paper whether its handouts, brochures, or welcome packs even in the age of smart phones and tablets. The cost to the environment of all this paper can be significant especially if the documents have not been made from recycled paper. It’s not just the impact of the paper itself; there are numerous costs to producing large quantities of paper such as the energy and water used to make the paper, to the carbon footprint of shipping the paper to the meeting. On average a virtual event saves 36,000 sheets of paper as by using digital content and documents. Avoid environmental and financial cost of hotels: your typical face-to-face event requires delegates to stay at hotels and despite the efforts of hotels to reduce their use of water and other resources, most still use vast amounts of resources, especially water. You can bring your key audiences together without incurring the environmental impact of a typical face-to-face event with a virtual event. Cut out the waste: look back over the number of face-to-face meetings, conferences, business meetings and expos that you have attended over the years. Aren’t they full of waste? From disposable plates at mealtime, brochures and paper handouts that you throw in the bin (when you’re out of sight from the person that gave you them!) to marketing collateral that inevitably get thrown away. Even the nature of travelling and staying at hotels can make you more wasteful. A virtual event quickly connects your audience via an online events platform meaning you don’t have to bring together hundreds or thousands of people not to mention support them with food, drinks, and accommodation. You will still achieve the engagement and results you require but without the environmental impact. They provide a story: in 2009 Cisco hosted a virtual event for 19,000 sales people and Cisco estimates that the virtual event prevented 84,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and saved 209,000 pounds of waste that would have been created by face-to-face event. Choosing to host a virtual event, like Cisco, provides your company with a powerful story to tell as part of your marketing efforts. Customers are becoming more environmentally aware and they are often looking to do business with organisations that proactively ‘go green’. The decision about how best to host events and connect with audiences often goes beyond calculations of environmental impact. People wonder about whether they lose something essential a face-to-face meeting provides when thinking about virtual events. Are the environmental benefits worth the potential drawbacks? Virtual events aren’t just about saving money and reducing environmental costs. They are a way to add value to your organisation by introducing new ways to connect and build relationships with your key customers and audiences.