For generations, the relationship between humans and the environment has been rocky. Scientists argue that we’re using up natural resources too quickly while damaging the earth. The list of how humans are negatively impacting our planet is long. Pollution and renewable energy are near the top of that list.
Renewable energy, or the energy utilized from natural resources, continues to be a focus of evolution. There is even a whole industry devoted to preserving and utilizing that kind of energy to its fullest potential. With the arrival of COVID-19, the renewal energy industry saw an interesting shift in business functions—video conferencing.
What is the relationship between video conferencing and renewable energy?
Video conferencing has been able to benefit this industry in a few ways:
- Increase in Productivity
Pre-pandemic conferences were held in person or via phone calls. They often lasted a long time and may have deviated from their initial intentions. However, when combined with the rapid evolution of business practices during the pandemic, video conferencing allowed for more productive meetings. The need to stick to a set schedule could be maintained, and from the comfort of most homes.
- Wide Communication Reach
Though video conferencing initially seemed like a hindrance for many businesses reliant on physical presentations, the renewable energy industry noticed opportunities with expanding their professional relationships. Communication to countries around the globe became a common, beneficial method. For example, proposals regarding cleaner energy alternatives could be presented from a business in California to potential partners in China.
- Unity & Collaboration
One subtle goal of the renewable energy industry has always been to unite the world in an effort to decrease pollution and increase the use of natural energy resources. Virtual conferences gave businesses the tools to share their screens, collaborate on projects in real-time, and give presentations that would have only been able to present at annual in-person conferences.
- Reduce Travel
Businesses in the renewable energy industry care about maintaining a thriving natural environment. Pollution that comes with traveling goes against that focus. Having to switch to video conferencing to hold meetings previously conducted face-to-face gave the industry a solution to cut back on travel costs and the effects of pollution from plane emissions. This way, their businesses could continue to function while they protected the earth.
To test the effectiveness of video conferencing on the environment, a study was conducted on the Global Environment, Health and Safety Manager of GE, Mike Boyce. Boyce traveled frequently prior to the pandemic. Meetings with corporate employees in countries like Dubai, New York, China, and more were a common part of his job. However, due to the pandemic’s restrictions, Boyce had to conduct video conference calls instead. This study showed us (and Boyce) what we should already know—to preserve the earth and fully utilize its natural resources, video conferencing is a vital asset.
Transitions to a hybrid of virtual and in-person meetings are likely to be in our future. Regardless, the use of video conferencing will remain an essential tool for the renewable energy industry.