A decade or so ago, the term ‘eco-friendly’ was seen as something for the future; a buzzword that that was talked about quite a lot but meant little in practice. Today, that has changed, as more people and businesses have consciously implemented changes to ensure they are actively facilitating an environmentally friendly future.
One sector that has been at the forefront of this is the manufacturing industry. How has the manufacturing sector become more eco-friendly?
The answer is in a lot of ways.
The manufacturing arena as a whole now uses more and better implementations of renewable energy solutions, improved waste management practices, runs regular audits of energy consumption and carbon footprints, and uses technology to streamline their processes and facilitate remote interactions.
Amongst these technologies are interactive whiteboards, teleconference equipment and, of course video conferencing systems. These all help factories, logistic operations, design teams, and senior managers in board rooms to cut down on travel time to and from meetings. Technology is making manufacturing more responsive, more collaborative, financially more efficient, more time efficient, more eco-friendly; in a word – better!
Let’s hone in on how video conferencing technology is helping.
How video conferencing solutions are fostering more environmental responsibility
Manufacturing processes involve a lot of meetings. Key players in the sector have to be in agreement for mass production to go ahead, and to ensure time-to-market is as speedy as possible. There are often a lot of stakeholders at each stage of the manufacturing process, meaning lots of people travelling back and forth.
This leads to lots of air miles recorded every year, additional expense and lost man-hours to travelling. High quality video conferencing solutions, however, have drastically reduced the amount of travel required. Meetings can now be held in high definition from any place on the globe, with the quality of interaction akin to face to face meetings.
Video conferencing solutions have evolved fast over the past decade, and there are many options available to businesses today. Some of the solutions are immersive and room based, making multi-user meetings easy, whilst others are personal and desktop based.
A number of cutting edge, industry leading manufacturers have emerged on the stage, including the Polycom, Avaya, and Cisco ranges of solutions. Some options, like Lifesize Cloud video conferencing, offer both room based meeting participation and mobile participation.
This variety of offerings means that manufacturing businesses are virtually guaranteed to find a solution that will fit seamlessly into their business processes, helping them cut down on their carbon footprint, whilst reducing capital costs on travel and accommodation.
Here are some examples of manufacturing businesses that have used video conferencing to drive forward an environmentally friendly culture.
Bridon is a global leader in the manufacturing of steel wire and fibre rope solutions. With offices in most of the major countries around the world, the company was in need of a solution that would help them hold meetings in an environmentally friendly manner, and also save costs.
They deployed a video conferencing solution for the first time in 2009, and since then they haven’t looked back; they have installed the solution in all of their offices. The major calls to and from the UK office are linked to their Germany, USA and Singapore offices.
With an average cost of £1,000 for a US flight, and the average flying time of 7 hours (not including stops), the company has dramatically reduced cost in terms of human capital and travel expense. They have also become a leader in the green manufacturing revolution!
EPC Groupe, UK and Europe
This explosives manufacturing company has offices in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, France and Romania. The dispersed offices meant that senior officials had to travel long hours to meet up for strategy sessions. This not only increased the company’s carbon footprint, but also cost them hours spent in airports planes and trains; affecting the bottom line, and the moral of employees.
EPC tackled these problems by installing a Lifesize video conferencing solution. After the initial learning phase, employees embraced the solution. It has since become a crucial cog in this manufacturing company. The investment in this carbon-reducing and cost saving solution was recouped within just 18 months!
RD Leverage, UK
RD Leverage is one of the biggest names when it comes to the supply of tools for consumer industries. The company has only one office outside the UK, but this office is in the USA. This meant that the company was actively seeking a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to hold transatlantic meetings. After searching online they found their solution in a Lifesize video conferencing product.
A year on the company had recouped their investment in the technology, while becoming far more environmentally friendly. Since installation, the company has saved over 3500 man hours travelling to and from meetings! This has meant serious financial and environmental benefits.
These are just a few examples of how video conferencing is helping manufacturing businesses become more eco-friendly than ever before.
We are now in an era where it pays to be environmentally efficient. An era where the technology is available to save time, save money, and collaborate more effectively over thousands of miles, without having to leave your office. The future is here today. Are you embracing it?