As a society, we’ve become more conscious about our energy usage and how we impact the environment in which we live.  For years, environmentally harmful products and substances have been supplanted by less-harmful ones. One example of this is that you won’t find new refrigeration equipment using ozone-depleting CFC gases. You’ll also have a tough time finding traditional incandescent light bulbs, since those are being phased out and replaced with compact fluorescent and LED lightbulbs. Even looking at transportation, have you noticed that electric and hybrid cars have become fairly common?  New homes and offices are even being designed according to “green” principles. So, what can your business do to be green (and even save some money in the process)?
 

Offices waste a lot of electricity and consumables, like paper and ink. With each office, this all adds up and creates a significant problem for our environment. Here’s where Voice over IP makes a difference. Voice over IP not only has amazing flexibility and numerous advantages over a traditional office telephone system, but it can also consume up to 67% less energy than a traditional system.
 

Here are some facts:

Traditional Telephone System vs. VoIP: Energy Usage Per Year

Pounds of Coal Burned (Equivalent)* Tons of CO2** Cost of Electricity**
Traditional 1392 1.4 $507.36
VoIP 55 0.47 $165.83

*&** calculated using epa.gov carbon footprint calculator.
***Based on 40 hours per week of maximum device power consumption at a NYC electrical rate of $0.27/kWh.

Additionally, with a traditional phone system, you’ll likely be using a paper-based fax machine.  If so, go ahead and add another 0.22 Tons of CO2 as a product of your business’ yearly energy consumption. With VoIP, you can view your faxes through your computer; thereby avoid the need to print every fax.

 
While the above calculations are based upon a small to medium office, the amount of carbon and energy saved by using a VoIP system, over a traditional phone system, is nonetheless considerable. Given these figures, think about how much coal is burned; how much CO2 is produced and how much energy is wasted when many more offices are factored in. Ultimately, if every office in the United States switched over to using VoIP, all of these would be reduced. As a bonus, VoIP would also help all of these businesses reduce their financial emissions.

 

What do you think?

Besides switching to VoIP, what other things can be done around the office to make a business more green?