WRF innovative “two-site conference concept” reduces GHG emissions

St. Gallen, March 2012. The World Resources Forum 2009 was organised as a “two-site conference”, which took simultaneously place in two countries (Switzerland and Japan). A recently published scientific article concludes that the use of advanced videoconferencing technology was a tool to reduce intercontinental conference travel and thus travel-related GHG emissions.

The results of WRF2009 show that reductions of 37% and 50% in travel-related GHG emissions were attained as compared to the single-site alternatives, although more people took part than in any of these alternatives. At the same time, the experience of the participants was clearly positive, showing that the multiple-site format can serve as an acceptable alternative to the traditional one-site format.

The researchers (Prof. Lorenz Hilty and Vlad Coroama) assessed the emissions caused by participants’ travel and additional ICT equipment used for connecting the two venues. They calculated the emissions in the alternative scenarios of holding the conference at either one of the places, and evaluated the satisfaction of the participants with the two-site conference format.

The article was recently published in the journal “Telematics and Informatics” and presents the results of this field experiment in which technology was a substitute for more carbon-intensive technologies.

The full text of the article is available here

Outcomes, presentations and videos of WRF2009 can be found here: http://www.worldresourcesforum.org/wrf-2009