Three influential lobby groups are calling for faster uptake of videoconferencing to help reduce carbon emissions.
The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) have published reports saying the technology is vital to reducing business travel.
The SDC and IPPR report calls for the UK government to "reduce business travel…by speeding the uptake of technology alternatives such as telepresence."
The report quotes the example of a financial company that avoided approximately 200 transatlantic flights and 60 European flights by using a system from supplier Teliris for 158 meetings, saving nearly $3.5m (£1.8m) and 450 tonnes of C02 emissions in the process.
The WWF report says that two thirds of FTSE 350 companies support proposals for the government to introduce an Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme for organisations investing in telepresence technology – another term for videoconferencing.
The WWF report goes on to highlight that the advent of telepresence means that, "for the first time, virtual meetings are an attractive alternative to travelling for many types of meeting, from board meetings to project team updates, where the individuals already know each other and working relationships are well established."