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Video Conferencing

In what seems to be a distant past, video conferencing was something done by executives and directors to avoid continuous travelling across the globe. But since the Corona virus outbreak and subsequent global pandemic, video conferencing has become the standard for communicating between colleagues, teams and with clients, partners. Even with family members and friends living abroad and during lockdowns. This has a lot of benefits: less travelling, less organizing, less time needed to meet. But a flipside of the coin is the environmental impact of this transition.

CO2 Impact Calculator

Video conferences consume energy on the local computer, in the transmission network and in the data centre. Anyone sitting in front of a computer permanently connected to the internet consumes 6 Wh more energy per hour during video conferences. If the video conference is transmitted via mobile network, the additional consumption is 24 Wh per hour. This means you can video conference your heart out and still have a limited impact on the environment. However, video conferencing never comes alone, and when we take into account the amount of people around you conferencing with the same frequency, the numbers start to add up.


Do you want to embrace a greener digital lifestyle? Below we provide some tips. If you select one or multiple, it is stored locally. This is better for both CO2 emissions as it is for your privacy. By selecting a tip, it is added to your own battleplan, where you can always return to in the Take Action section.

  • Turn of your camera when someone is presenting

    Video accounts for 80% of the total data traffic when video conferencing. In many settings, turning off your video is considered rude or is a sign of being uninterested. Agreeing upon a new etiquette for video conferencing based on turning video on when conversing but off when listening to a presentation is needed.

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  • Lower video streaming quality

    Streaming on medium quality cuts data use by 40% and you probably won’t even notice the difference. You can lower streaming quality in your streaming settings. By using vectors (line based representation of an image) instead of video stream, you can lower the bandwidth even further, with 95%.

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  • Always use a fixed internet connection or WiFi and never mobile traffic

    When video conferencing, using mobile internet bundles (4G/5G) is the worst option there is. Whatever carrier you use, making sure you are connected to a fixed or WiFi connection which uses a lot less energy.

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How big should your organizations tree park be to keep pace of video conferencing?

Most companies have a strategic plan to lower the environmental impact of their car park, but does your organization have a strategy to build a tree park as well? When you have adopted a ‘minimize video on’ conferencing protocol, lowered the resolution and made sure everybody has access to a fixed internet connection or good WiFi when entering professional calls, the final step to become conference call neutral in terms of environmental impact could be to start building a tree park. Do you want to further explore this option? Start creating a strategy to implement a new digital etiquette.