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19 Feb 2021, 13:55
Charlotte Nijhuis

Virtual meetings can replace a third of business trips, saving emissions – survey

Following the pandemic, one third of business trips in Germany could be replaced by video conferences, a survey conducted by the Borderstep Institute on behalf of the Ecological Transport Club (VCD) has found. The institute, which surveyed 500 people who traveled for business reasons before the pandemic, argues that reducing business trips could significantly lower CO2 emissions. "Video conferencing instead of business travel has great potential for climate protection.” says the institute's Jens Clausen. “This could save around three million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.” Michael Müller-Görnert, transport policy spokesman for the VCD, added: “Video conferences and home offices can make an important contribution to avoiding traffic. For this, companies and politicians must create the necessary incentives and framework conditions.” The institute notes that although emissions may be saved by avoiding commuting, working from home could cause a rise in emissions elsewhere, such as through increased heating at home. 

Last year, a study by the Berlin-based Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) commissioned by Greenpeace also showed the increase of remote working triggered by the coronavirus pandemic can contribute significantly to reducing emissions in the transport sector.

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