Wednesday, October 17

Transform your carbon emissions

I was in an airport recently listening to this guy ranting about how air travel, and hence capitalism, was so bad for the environment. Did he know he was in an international terminal drinking a Starbucks coffee? I was tempted to point out the obvious and ask why he was flying. But there is just no reasoning with people like that.

Then this week Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts towards planetary climate change.

Then yesterday, Laura Wang, Editor and Chief Architect of Business Object's Insight collaboration community, spoke with me about their Carbon Offset Challenge and user conference on this week.

Three times in a short period couldn't be a coincidence.

My point is, have you ever been to a conference and flown or drove hundreds of miles along with hundreds and thousands of others? Sure. However you probably haven't thought of carbon emissions produced from everyone traveling -- me either.

Laura was at Insight's Orlando conference yesterday where Business Objects paid to offset attendee carbon dioxide emissions from traveling. They did this by purchasing Green Tags from Bonneville Environmental Foundation using a formula:
  • Number of miles flown multiplied by 1.36 = Number of lbs. of CO2 emitted
  • 1400 lbs of CO2 emitted = One Green Tag

Then you take the total number of attendees and mode of travel. Total miles traveled by all attendees is 3,802,796 miles. Business Objects ended up paying for 3,991 Green Tags. This is equivalent to planting acres of trees nearly the size of Central Park in NYC. Well done!

To put the travel by all attendees to this conference into perspective:

  • Total attendee travel is equivalent to one person traveling around the earth 152 times.
  • Even more striking, the distance from the earth to the moon is 238,712 miles, so attendee travel is equivalent to 8 roundtrips to the moon and back.
We all like our conferences and those corporations (or people), which are environmentally conscious -- or want to make a statement -- can reduce their guilt and support a global problem by purchasing Green Tags. Alternatively, you could take Insight's collaboration community up on their future challenges and contribute your personal time.

1 comment:

Simon said... was shut down this week. Marketing leadership finally realized (make that SAP marketing leadership, not BOBJ) it was a waste of money.

People can see through these thinly disguised marketing attempts at being concerned for the environment.

The so-called "community" never received any traffic, had limited partners and even more limited content.

It is not that people do not care, but they are not interested in companies faking it.

I'm sure SAP is looking at the BOBJ 2007 marketing spend and sees the utter waste poured into insight.