Two MPs are leading the way in exploiting online meeting technology to reduce travel, cut their carbon footprints and save the taxpayer money.
Nick Hurd, Conservative MP for Ruislip and Northwood, and Mark Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion, have been using conferencing technology from supplier WebEx in the run-up to World Environment Day on 5 June.
UK employees think more than one-third of face-to-face business meetings are both unnecessary and counter-productive, a survey of 2,240 people by WebEx found.
Hurd said: “As MPs, we are constantly having meetings with constituents, colleagues and other stakeholders. Many of these face-to-face meetings are necessary, but many are not.
“If all MPs took advantage of online meeting technology, it would be a significant step in reducing thousands of travel miles and the associated carbon emissions.”
Williams added: “I already use the train to travel to and from Westminster, but hope to further reduce my carbon footprint by stopping needless travel to Cardiff or across London for meetings.”
Bert van der Zwan, vice-president of WebEx, said: “If the UK is to cut its carbon emissions by up to 32% by 2020, everyone will have to embrace smarter alternatives to commuting and business travel.
“It’s not about replacing face-to-face meetings altogether. It’s about considering which meetings don’t need to be done in person, and using online technology to have effective meetings from anywhere.”