Article

Comparison of the energy, carbon and time costs of videoconferencing and in-person meetings

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Abstract

While video conferencing is often viewed as a greener alternative to physically travelling to meet in-person, it has its own energy, carbon dioxide and time costs. In this paper we present the first analysis of the total cost of videoconferencing, including operating costs of the network and videoconferencing equipment, lifecycle assessment of equipment costs, and the time cost of people involved in meetings. We compare these costs to the corresponding costs for in-person meetings, which include operating and lifecycle costs of vehicles and the costs of participant time. While the costs of these meeting forms depend on many factors such as distance travelled, meeting duration, and the technologies used, we find that videoconferencing takes at most 7% of the energy/carbon of an in-person meeting. This comparison changes when the time cost is taken into account, with videoconferencing potentially costing more than in-person meetings in a worst-case scenario. We also analyse the sensitivity of the energy and carbon costs to various factors and consider trends in energy and carbon usage to predict how the comparison might change in the future.

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... On the other hand, providers of CT Services hope that the overall global electricity usage, and thereby some of the eco-environmental impacts, will be reduced once new smart solutions [24] are implemented. Widely seen, the so-called enabling effect of CT, is thought to be large [25][26][27][28]. ...
... x Include the enabling effect of CT [25][26][27][28] in the calculation. ...
Article
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This work presents an estimation of the global electricity usage that can be ascribed to Communication Technology (CT) between 2010 and 2030. The scope is three scenarios for use and production of consumer devices, communication networks and data centers. Three different scenarios, best, expected, and worst, are set up, which include annual numbers of sold devices, data traffic and electricity intensities/efficiencies. The most significant trend, regardless of scenario, is that the proportion of use-stage electricity by consumer devices will decrease and will be transferred to the networks and data centers. Still, it seems like wireless access networks will not be the main driver for electricity use. The analysis shows that for the worst-case scenario, CT could use as much as 51% of global electricity in 2030. This will happen if not enough improvement in electricity efficiency of wireless access networks and fixed access networks/data centers is possible. However, until 2030, globally-generated renewable electricity is likely to exceed the electricity demand of all networks and data centers. Nevertheless, the present investigation suggests, for the worst-case scenario, that CT electricity usage could contribute up to 23% of the globally released greenhouse gas emissions in 2030.
... Previous papers [14,23,24] already attempted to quantify environmental impacts of videoconferencing but with the aim of comparing it to real meeting, with only carbon and energy impacts and often considering a much more complex videoconferencing system. Borggren et al. [14] evaluated different types of videoconferencing equipment and confronted them to meeting in person. ...
... They also indicated the contribution to the total impact of the different equipment used in videoconferencing and similar conclusions were obtain with the highest contribution being the embodied impacts followed by internet connection and finally the electricity used. Similarly, Ong et al. [24] studied the environmental gains obtained by replacing transport by videoconferencing. They also evaluated different types of transport (train, plan and car) and videoconferencing (high quality communication equipment or just laptop). ...
Conference Paper
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Recently, data centres have been called out for their particularly high energy consumption, which already accounts for 1.5% of the total global electricity consumption and is among the world's fastest growing energy consumptions. To reduce the data centres' environmental impacts, technologies such as free cooling and sustainable power sources are used. Another newly developed strategy to improve the energy efficiency of data centres is virtualization, which makes it possible to install several operating systems, known as virtual machines (VMs), so that several tasks and users can share a single server. To evaluate the environmental advantages and burdens of this strategy, assessments tools are required. Several studies have already quantified the energetic and environmental benefits of virtualization but often only considered the use phase and CO2 improvement. This study uses life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impacts of Internet use in videoconferencing (VC). Preliminary results show the advantages of virtualization in the manufacturing, use and end-of-life phases. Indeed, when virtualization is implemented, one server can be allocated to several tasks. Therefore, the environmental burden of use and manufacturing will be allocated to the various tasks, decreasing the impact of each one. Index Terms— Life cycle assessment – Data centre – Virtualization – Videoconferencing
... Für ihre Berechnungen verwendeten sie Resultate zweier anderer Studien, welche den THG-Fussabdruck einer Videokonferenz in HD-Qualität auf 160-290 g CO2e pro Stunde schätzten(Coroamă et al., 2015;Hischier et al., 2015). einer Studie berechnetenOng et al. (2014) die THG-Emissionen einer 5-stündigen Videokonferenz-Sitzung mit insgesamt 4 Teilnehmern für das Jahr 2010. Für die Berechnungen verwendeten sie eine Lebenszyklusanalyse der Endgeräte: sie berücksichtigten die Herstellung, Betrieb sowie Entsorgung der Endgeräte (z.B. ...
... Die THG-Emissionen, die durch eine Flugreise verursacht werden, sind somit zehnmal so hoch wie wenn die Konferenz mit dem Zug besucht wird, und mehr als 300 Mal so hoch wie eine virtuelle Teilnahme.In der Fallstudie vonCoroamă et al. (2012) wurde zusätzlich berechnet, wie viele THG-Emissionen verursacht worden wären, wenn die zwei Konferenzen nicht gleichzeitig stattgefunden hätten, sondern zu unterschiedlichen Zeitpunkten, und mehrere Teilnehmer zu beiden Standorten angereist wären. Die Ergebnisse zeigten, dass durch die gleichzeitige Durchführung beider Konferenzen zwischen 37% und 50% der reisebezogenen THG-Emissionen vermieden werden konnten, vor allem da weniger geflogen wurde.In der Studie vonOng et al. (2014) wurde zusätzlich zu den THG-Emissionen einer Videokonferenz die THG-Emissionen einer physischen Konferenzteilnahme mittels Flugzeug, Auto und Bahn berechnet. Ihre Analyse ergab, dass die THG-Emissionen für eine persönliche Konferenzteilnahme mittels Flugzeug 3,5 t CO2e, mittels Bahn 2,9 t CO2e und mittels Auto 3,3 t CO2e betragen. ...
Article
The use of digital products and services has continued to increase, especially in recent years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in both work and private life. For example, people are using video conferencing systems and cloud services more than ever to work from home, ordering more and more products online, and accessing an inexhaustible selection of videos and music titles through streaming platforms. As the use of digital products and services leads to profound changes in working and private life, the question arises to what extent these contribute to a reduction or increase in the emission rate of greenhouse gases and are thus rather an opportunity or a hurdle for the achievement of climate protection goals. Research to date shows that a differentiated approach is necessary here and that blanket estimates of the climate impact of digitalization are not helpful.
... DEFRA also publish the emissions generated from consumption of clean water [13]. Emissions from telecommunications have been calculated by Ong et al. [16]. We assumed a 4 mile car commute per staff member. ...
... Telecommunications: a video call of adequate quality to hear and examine a patient requires a bandwidth of 5.5 megabits per second [15,16] and emits 2.95 kgCO 2 e per hour [13]. Landline transmission energy data were not available but the energy required for the handset emits 0.7 gCO 2 e per hour. ...
Article
Background: climate change is a health emergency. Central to addressing this is understanding the carbon footprint of our daily life and work, in order to reduce it effectively. The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought about rapid change to clinical practice, most notably in use of virtual clinics and personal protective equipment (PPE). Aim: to estimate the carbon footprint of a Geriatric Medicine clinic, including the effect of virtual consultation and PPE, in order to inform design of a service that addresses both the health of our patients and our environment. Method: data from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, NHS Carbon Footprint Plus and UK Government were used to estimate the carbon emissions per consultation. Values were calculated for virtual and face-to-face contact and applied to actual clinics both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: the carbon footprint of a face-to-face clinic consultation is 4.82 kgCO2e, most of which is patient travel, followed by staff travel and use of PPE. The footprint of a virtual consultation is 0.99 kgCO2e, most of which is staff travel, followed by data use.Using our hybrid model for a single session clinic reduced our annual carbon footprint by an estimated 200 kgCO2e, roughly equivalent to a surgical operation. Discussion: the COVID-19 pandemic has made us deliver services differently. The environmental benefits seen of moving to a partially virtual clinic highlight the importance of thinking beyond reverting to 'business as usual'-instead deliberately retaining changes, which benefit the current and future health of our community.
... A number of factors affect the URBEC per square meter, including macroeconomic factors (economy, culture, and society) and microeconomic factors 45,46 . Based on a review of previous literature, the key factors were classified into two types: area-related factors and residents-related factors [47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59] (Supplementary Table 1). The value of variable BESD is 1 when the energy efficiency design standard is adopted. ...
Article
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Urban residential buildings make large contributions to energy consumption. Energy consumption per square meter is most widely used to measure energy efficiency in urban residential buildings. This study aims to explore whether it is an appropriate indicator. An extended STIRPAT model was used based on the survey data from 867 households. Here we present that building area per household has a dilution effect on energy consumption per square meter. Neglecting this dilution effect leads to a significant overestimation of the effectiveness of building energy savings standards. Further analysis suggests that the peak of energy consumption per square meter in China’s urban residential buildings occurred in 2012 when accounting for the dilution effect, which is 11 years later than it would have occurred without considering the dilution effect. Overall, overlooking the dilution effect may lead to misleading judgments of crucial energy-saving policy tools, as well as the ongoing trend of residential energy consumption in China.
... Regarding indirect emissions not associated with electricity, these occurred mainly due to the daily mobility of students (77.1%), the construction of infrastructure (10.4%), the daily mobility of officials (7%) and staff travel (4.4%). -It was assumed that a person would emit 0.2 kg CO 2 -eq./hour when participating in a videoconference [45] -The videoconferences would have been carried out with portable computers. The configuration of the network and the minimum energy consumption required (lower limit) were taken as a reference. ...
Article
In the past 50 years, higher education institutions worldwide have progressively implemented sustainability policies focused on improving their environmental indicators and institutional image. This trend also occurs in Colombia, both in private and public institutions. One of the issues associated with sustainability that has experienced increasing interest by these entities is Climate Change, which is reflected in an increasing number of inventories of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) of an organizational nature. Following this trend, the Technological University of Pereira (UTP), as a state higher education institution, quantified its organizational carbon footprint of 2017. Through the application of the GHG Protocol methodology, direct emissions (Scope 1), indirect emissions associated with electricity (Scope 2) and other indirect GHG emissions (Scope 3) were established. In total, in 2017 UTP emitted 8969 t CO2-eq, of which 97% were scope 3 emissions, mainly due to the daily mobility of students and officials, and the construction of infrastructure. Likewise, in 2017 each member of the university community emitted 0.4 t CO2-eq. Compared to other universities in the rest of the world, the carbon footprint per person at the UTP is low, among other reasons, because the campus does not generate electricity or use heating and furthermore, in terms of proximity, UTP students and employees residences in relation to the campus are close, which allows that the daily commuting is mostly short. Additionally, the impact on total emissions of the years 2017 and 2018 of three strategies in favor of reducing the carbon footprint of UTP based on better management of water, electricity and the mobility of students and teachers was evaluated. If these strategies had been implemented in both years, the carbon footprint would have been decreased 3.1% on average in a conservative scenario and 4.8% on average on an optimistic scenario.
... Changes in social media use following COVID-19 are addressed e.g., by J.P. Morgan [30]; Amazon notably profited [31]. This can also lead to beneficial results: Ong et al. [32,33] estimate the impact of videoconferencing, in terms of energy and CO2 costs over the life cycle, compared to face-to-face meetings. ...
Preprint
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Information and communication technologies (ICT) are increasingly permeating our daily life and we ever more commit our data to the cloud. Events like the COVID-19 pandemic put an exceptional burden upon ICT infrastructures. This involves implementation and utilization of data centers, which increasingly contribute to energy and environmental impact. In this work, we address strategies to improve energy efficiency of data centers, to enhance sustainability towards energy resource and the environment. Among key strategies are innovative cooling technologies, use of natural resources, automation techniques, low-power electronics, and equipment with extended thermal limits. Research perspectives are identified and estimates of improvement opportunities are presented.
... However, our estimates of the reduction in carbon footprint are similar than previous estimations of virtual conferences being 7% the CO 2 costs as in-person conferences (Ong et al., 2014). The removal of intercontinental flights would be a key factor in reducing carbon emissions for in-person conferences, and yet it comes at the cost of building an international network for collaboration. ...
Article
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In‐person academic conferences are important to disseminate research and provide networking opportunities. Whether academics attend in‐person conferences is based on the cost, accessibility, and safety of the event. Therefore, in‐person conferences are less accessible to academics and stakeholders that are unable to overcome some of these factors, which then act as a barrier to equal and inclusive participation. Additionally, the carbon footprint of conference travel is increasingly becoming a factor in deciding on whether to attend a conference. Online conferences may provide opportunities to mitigate these challenges. Here, we illustrate how a learned society can move their conference online. Then, comparing data acquired from the virtual conference and previous in‐person conferences, we explore the aids and barriers influencing the decision of delegates to attend the meetings. Ultimately, moving meetings online aids delegate participation by removing concerns about travel, cost, and carbon emissions, but there remains a barrier to participation as online meetings are perceived as less effective for networking and social opportunities.
... 26 Indeed, videoconferencing requires, at most, 7% of the total energy of an in-person meeting. 27 Participant acceptability, or satisfaction with, one-to-one videoconference weight management interventions, has been investigated in adults living in rural areas and in postpartum women. 12 Autonomy can be described as the psychological need to experience self-direction and personal endorsement in the initiation and regulation of one's behaviour. ...
Article
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Background Engagement with conventional weight management group programmes is low. Objective To understand participant experience of accessing an adapted programme via videoconference. Participants Adults with obesity (BMI ≥ 35kg/m²), referred to an NHS Dietetics service in Wales, were offered a group videoconference weight management programme as an optional alternative to in‐person groups. Thirteen participants (mean age 48.5 ± 20.2 years, 8 female) recruited to two videoconference groups were interviewed. Study design A Registered Dietitian delivered a behavioural programme using Skype for Business in 10 sessions over 6 months. Participants joined the groups from any Internet‐connected device with a webcam. Participant perspectives were audiorecorded in one‐to‐one, semi‐structured interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed using self‐determination theory as a theoretical framework. Results Ten themes were identified, three relating to service engagement and seven relating to behaviour change facilitation. Key themes in engagement included ‘reduced burden’, described as saving time and travel and ‘reduced threat’ as participants perceived joining a group from home as less daunting compared to attending in‐person. Despite reporting some initial technical difficulties with establishing video and audio connection, participants described beneficial peer support although not physically with other group members. Conclusion Accessing a group weight management programme via videoconference may be the preferred option for some participants, overcoming some of the barriers to access to standard in‐person programmes, particularly in rural areas. Participants are able to experience peer support via videoconference. During the COVID‐19 pandemic, weight management programmes could utilize videoconference groups to continue to provide support.
... For example, a smartphone usually demands only a few Watts [16], [43] due to its energy efficient architecture. Modern tablet PCs require about 10 W to 30 W [1], [42], the power consumption of TV sets mainly depends on the display technology (liquid-crystal display (LCD) or organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display) and their screen size (50 W to 200 W) [41], and the power consumption of desktop PCs depends on their hardware configuration and the size and type of the monitor (power consumption values similar to TVs) [44]. ...
Preprint
In recent years, the global use of online video services has increased rapidly. Today, a manifold of applications, such as video streaming, video conferencing, live broadcasting, and social networks, make use of this technology. A recent study found that the development and the success of these services had as a consequence that, nowadays, more than 1% of the global greenhouse-gas emissions are related to online video, with growth rates close to 10% per year. This article reviews the latest findings concerning energy consumption of online video from the system engineer's perspective, where the system engineer is the designer and operator of a typical online video service. We discuss all relevant energy sinks, highlight dependencies with quality-of-service variables as well as video properties, review energy consumption models for different devices from the literature, and aggregate these existing models into a global model for the overall energy consumption of a generic online video service. Analyzing this model and its implications, we find that end-user devices and video encoding have the largest potential for energy savings. Finally, we provide an overview of recent advances in energy efficiency improvement for video streaming and propose future research directions for energy-efficient video streaming services.
... Borggren, Moberg et al. (2013) estimated the electricity use for data transmission in the context of teleconferencing as an alternative to long-distance travel to meetings and conferences. Similarly, Ong, Moors et al. (2014) performed such a comparative study and found teleconferencing is associated with an order of magnitude less energy consumption and GHG emissions than in-person conferences. While showing a clear benefit of teleconferencing, these studies use a baseline that includes international flights, which greatly skews the results compared to routine telework. ...
Article
Teleworking has been widely perceived as a more sustainable mode of working for knowledge workers compared to the status quo of commuting to centralized offices because of its reduced dependency on transportation and centralized office space. However, the situation is far more complex than would appear on the surface, when the scope is expanded to include home office energy use, the Internet, long-term consumer choices, and other so-called rebound effects. Few studies have quantified home, office, transportation, and communications energy or GHG emissions implications of telecommuting simultaneously. To make progress in answering the question of whether telecommuting results in less energy use and greenhouse gas emissions than conventional centralized office working, this paper reviews results and research methods of primarily quantitative studies of any and all four domains that consider operating energy and/or greenhouse gas emissions. The results ultimately show that this problem is complex, and that current datasets and methods are generally inadequate for fully answering the research question. While most studies indicate some benefit, several suggest teleworking increases energy use – even for the domain that is thought to benefit most: transportation.
... Changes in social media use following COVID-19 are addressed e.g., by J.P. Morgan [30]; Amazon notably profited [31]. This can also lead to beneficial results: Ong et al. [32,33] estimate the impact of videoconferencing, in terms of energy and CO2 costs over the life cycle, compared to face-to-face meetings. ...
Article
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Information and communication technologies (ICT) are increasingly permeating our daily life and we ever more commit our data to the cloud. Events like the COVID-19 pandemic put an exceptional burden upon ICT. This involves increasing implementation and use of data centers, which increased energy use and environmental impact. The scope of this work is to summarize the present situation on data centers as to environmental impact and opportunities for improvement. First, we introduce the topic, presenting estimated energy use and emissions. Then, we review proposed strategies for energy efficiency and conservation in data centers. Energy uses pertain to power distribution, ICT, and non-ICT equipment (e.g., cooling). Existing and prospected strategies and initiatives in these sectors are identified. Among key elements are innovative cooling techniques, natural resources, automation, low-power electronics, and equipment with extended thermal limits. Research perspectives are identified and estimates of improvement opportunities are mentioned. Finally, we present an overview on existing metrics, regulatory framework, and bodies concerned.
... Estimates for this value vary between locations 17 and with time. Ong et al. 18 calculate an intensity of 2.17-3.61 kWh/GB for 2010, noting a 10-fold decrease in 6 years. ...
Article
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Objective Health systems make a sizeable contribution to national emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change. The UK National Health Service is committed to being a net zero emitter by 2040, and a potential contribution to this target could come from reductions in patient travel. Achieving this will require actions at many levels. We sought to determine potential savings and risks over the short term from telemedicine through virtual clinics. Methods During the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-2-CoV) pandemic, scheduled face-to-face epilepsy clinics at a specialist site were replaced by remote teleclinics. We used a standard methodology applying conversion factors to calculate emissions based on the total saved travel distance. A further conversion factor was used to derive emissions associated with electricity consumption to deliver remote clinics from which net savings could be calculated. Patients’ records and clinicians were interrogated to identify any adverse clinical outcomes. Results We found that enforced telemedicine delivery for over 1200 patients resulted in the saving of ~224 000 km of travel with likely avoided emissions in the range of 35 000–40 000 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) over a six and half month period. Emissions arising directly from remote delivery were calculated to be <200 kg CO2e (~0.5% of those for travel), representing a significant net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Only one direct adverse outcome was identified, with some additional benefits identified anecdotally. Significance The use of telemedicine can make a contribution toward reduced emissions in the health care sector and, in the delivery of specialized epilepsy services, had minimal adverse clinical outcomes over the short term. However, these outcomes will likely vary with clinic locations, medical specialties and conditions.
... Due to the health crises and calls for social distancing, the approach of working from home has become yet more common [2]. Novel online work solutions have been developed and are likely to stay even after the health crisis, not least because they reduce mobility efforts, help lower CO2 levels and are widely accessible [3]. ...
Conference Paper
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The world is experiencing remote interaction in unprecedented frequency, as people stay in touch and work together remotely in pandemic times. IT solutions for remote work such as videoconferencing systems have received a lot of critical attention as they seem to induce fatigue. By contrast, in online video games, people collaborate passionately and energetically for hours at a time. In this paper, we introduce methodological frameworks for studying the impact of online video games on individual thinking capacities and team collaboration, with the goal of inspiring IT solutions for remote work. The research is grounded in neurodesign, an approach that uses neuroscientific research to underpin the analysis of how digital technology impacts humans. A major focus of this paper is body motion and virtual environments, tracing how they impact processes of team formation and creative thinking capacities, both during play and shortly thereafter. The paper reports on three pilot studies and methodological developments. The findings indicate that remote interaction leads to increased team cohesion and creative team performance, in particular when the interaction involves synchronous motion with a team partner, such as driving next to each other in Mario Kart on Nintendo Switch.
... The environmental cost of videoconferencing is highly dependent on several factors, such as the meeting duration, the technologies used, etc. The emissions associated to video conferencing are estimated to be 7% of the ones from in-person meetings [19]. Compared to the other emission sources, the impact of the use of video-conferencing in the collaboration can hence be neglected. ...
Preprint
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We present a pioneering estimate of the global yearly greenhouse gas emissions of a large-scale Astrophysics experiment over several decades: the Giant Array for Neutrino Detection (GRAND). The project aims at detecting ultra-high energy neutrinos with a 200,000 radio antenna array over 200,000\,km$^2$ as of the 2030s. With a fully transparent methodology based on open source data, we calculate the emissions related to three unavoidable sources: travel, digital technologies and hardware equipment. We find that these emission sources have a different impact depending on the stages of the experiment. Digital technologies and travel prevail for the small-scale prototyping phase (GRANDProto300), whereas hardware equipment (material production and transportation) and data transfer/storage largely outweigh the other emission sources in the large-scale phase (GRAND200k). In the mid-scale phase (GRAND10k), the three sources contribute equally. This study highlights the considerable carbon footprint of a large-scale astrophysics experiment, but also shows that there is room for improvement. We discuss various lines of actions that could be implemented. The GRAND project being still in its prototyping stage, our results provide guidance to the future collaborative practices and instrumental design in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
... I won't expand on these points, nor on the inequalities behind flying because there is a lot to say, but I will point to a few papers that have already started addressing these issues (e.g. Ong et al. [2014], Le Quéré et al. [2015], Janisch and Hilty [2017], Kalmus [2019], Wynes et al. [2019], Burtscher et al. [2020], Klöwer et al. [2020], Glausiusz [2021]). ...
Thesis
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Human-induced climate change is already affecting every inhabited region of the planet. Yet, over 90% of the excess heat associated with human activities has been absorbed by the ocean since the 1970s, which acts to largely damp atmospheric warming, but has large impacts on human societies and marine life. In this thesis, I explore when and where thermohaline changes in the ocean interior become large enough to be unambiguously set apart from internal variability and investigate their associated physical drivers, using ensembles of climate models and dedicated numerical experiments. We find that the climate signal in the upper ocean water-masses emerges between the late 20th century and the first decades of the 21st. The Southern Hemisphere mid-latitude Mode Waters emerge before their Northern Hemisphere counterparts. The associated warming at these timescales is mostly caused by the uptake of heat from the atmosphere, passively transported into the ocean interior. In the deeper parts of the ocean, circulation changes play a more important role in the emergence timescales of the climate signals. Increased buoyancy gain at the surface in the subpolar areas cause a slowdown in the meridional overturning circulation. This warms the subsurface and abyssal waters in the Southern Ocean as soon as the mid-20th century, adding up to the weaker passive uptake of heat, but counteracts it in the deep North Atlantic over the 21st, delaying the emergence. Although climate models miss some important aspects of the ocean response to climate change, they allow to shed light on the balance of processes at play, and suggest anthropogenic influence has already spread to large parts of the ocean.
... The main barrier to online participation is a perception of reduced social (rather than academic) opportunities (Raby and Madden, 2021), although this may be overcome through facilitating interpersonal meetings, and social discussion (Achakulvisut et al., 2020). It should be noted that whilst travel is unnecessary in virtual conferences, there is still a quantifiable carbon cost due to the infrastructure required (Ong et al., 2012(Ong et al., , 2014Faber, 2021). ...
Conference Paper
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The environmental costs of research are progressively important to the NLP community and their associated challenges are increasingly debated. In this work, we analyse the carbon cost (measured as CO2-equivalent) associated with journeys made by researchers attending in-person NLP conferences. We obtain the necessary data by text-mining all publications from the ACL anthology available at the time of the study (n=60,572) and extracting information about an author’s affiliation, including their address. This allows us to estimate the corresponding carbon cost and compare it to previously known values for training large models. Further, we look at the benefits of in-person conferences by demonstrating that they can increase participation diversity by encouraging attendance from the region surrounding the host country. We show how the trade-off between carbon cost and diversity of an event depends on its location and type. Our aim is to foster further discussion on the best way to address the joint issue of emissions and diversity in the future.
... Virtual communication may be seen thus a promising substitute for business travel and its environmental consequences. However, the environmental advantages of information and communication technology (ICT) are disputable due to the energy and material use and short life-span of ICT facilities (Ong et al. 2014). Furthermore, the type of relationship between the use of ICT and physical travel is far more complex (Cohen-Blankshtain, Rotem-Mindali 2016;Denstadli et al. 2013) and there tend to be more evidence supporting the complementarity and travel generation effects in front of substitution effects (Aguiléra et al. 2012;Choo, Mokhtarian 2005). ...
... For example, ICT can in fact stimulate further travel by increasing the size of one's social network and the intensity of the communication between members of the network, thereby creating the need for additional face-to-face meetings (Aguiléra et al., 2012;Choo and Mokhtarian, 2005). In addition, the use of ICT is itself not entirely environmentally friendly due to its use of energy, the short life-span of many ICT devices, and other environmental impacts of production (Ong et al., 2014). ...
Article
We explore the travel needs and patterns, and the corresponding carbon footprint, of small service organizations during different phases of knowledge-intensive business processes, and compare the results with the priorities given to travel-related goals by staff. We apply a combination of focus group data, mobile positioning, and individual follow-up interviews as study methods. The need for physical travel is determined by a combination of the perceived potential for knowledge creation and transfer offered by each trip, the strength of interpersonal relationships in business networks, and the significance of the travel goal in terms of economic sustainability. The priorities given to travel goals reflect the environmental load of business travel only in domestic contexts, where executing core business processes accounted for the highest carbon footprint. We propose the ways in which the management of business interactions could take into account sociotechnical environment and social recognition of low-carbon communication and travel modes.
... In general, the energy consumption per person of a virtual conference is significantly lower than the energy consumption needed for travelling. Based on an assessment by Ong et al. [97], video conferencing takes at most 7% of the energy/carbon of an in-person meeting, suggesting as an alternative with lower carbon emission footprint. However, the effectiveness of the meeting, including the interaction, deserves more evaluation. ...
Article
COVID-19 has caused great challenges to the energy industry. Potential new practices and social forms being facilitated by the pandemics are having impacts on energy demand and consumption. Spatial and temporal heterogeneities of impacts appear gradually due to the dynamics of pandemics and mitigation measures. This paper overviews the impacts and challenges of COVID-19 pandemic on energy demand and consumption and highlights energy-related lessons and emerging opportunities. The discussion on energy-related issues is divided into four main sections: emergency situation and its impacts, environmental impacts and stabilising energy demand, recovering energy demand, and lessons and emerging opportunities. The changes in energy requirements are compared and analysed from multiple perspectives according to available data and information. In general, although the overall energy demand declines, the spatial and temporal variations are complicated. The energy intensity has presented apparent changes, the extra energy for COVID-19 fighting is non-negligible for stabilising energy demand, and the energy recovery in different regions presents significant differences. A crucial issue has been to allocate and find energy-related emerging opportunities for the post pandemics. This study could offer a direction in opening new avenues for increasing energy efficiency and promoting energy saving.
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For 20 years, telephone and video conferencing have been successfully spreading in most companies. However, as the data in this study show, more and more people are traveling. However, the ever more pressing challenges of climate protection make it necessary not only to talk about the substitution of real travel by virtual meetings, but also to achieve effective effects. This preliminary study is the starting point for case analyses and surveys with which Borderstep wants to make such progress possible.
Chapter
According to statistics published by governmental agencies, 58 million students are currently enrolled in formal education courses available in the Brazilian educational system as a whole. A time series covering the years 2005–2015 reveals a descending number of enrollments in basic traditional school courses and an ascending amount of students attending distance-teaching courses. Distance Teaching has been hailed as an environmentally friendlier alternative to full-time campus activities, in papers with valid statistical data. However, the authors of this work performed the environmental accounting and compared the use of natural resources needed to implement and operate two similar courses, one under traditional classroom conditions, and its distance-teaching version, using the Emergy Accounting method, which allows for different types of energy to be accounted together by using solar energy Joules as a common unit. The results show that implementing and operating the distance-teaching version required 110% more investment in natural resources than the traditional version. This result motivated the analysis, presented in this paper, of the required investment in resources supporting the entire Brazilian educational system, combined with scenarios resulting from a hypothetical full shift from traditional in-class to distance teaching.
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We present a pioneering estimate of the global yearly greenhouse gas emissions of a large-scale Astrophysics experiment over several decades: the Giant Array for Neutrino Detection (GRAND). The project aims at detecting ultra-high energy neutrinos with a 200,000 radio antenna array over 200,000 km2 as of the 2030s. With a fully transparent methodology based on open source data, we calculate the emissions related to three unavoidable sources: travel, digital technologies and hardware equipment. We find that these emission sources have a different impact depending on the stages of the experiment. Digital technologies and travel prevail for the small-scale prototyping phase (GRANDProto300), whereas hardware equipment (material production and transportation) and data transfer/storage largely outweigh the other emission sources in the large-scale phase (GRAND200k). In the mid-scale phase (GRAND10k), the three sources contribute equally. This study highlights the considerable carbon footprint of a large-scale astrophysics experiment, but also shows that there is room for improvement. We discuss various lines of actions that could be implemented. The GRAND project being still in its prototyping stage, our results provide guidance to the future collaborative practices and instrumental design in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
Chapter
This chapter considers the energy and carbon footprints resulting from the use of the internet and, more generally, information technologies. Particular topics are the environmental impacts of data servers, optical fibers, and cellular telephone towers. Comparisons are drawn between a book in print versus its digital version, getting the news in print versus online, and a music on CD versus streaming. Other topics are the environmental impacts of e-commerce, videoconferencing, and ride-hailing companies.
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Background: Each spring, thousands of Canadian medical students travel across the country to interview for residency positions, a process known as the CaRMS tour. Despite the large scale of travel, the CaRMS tour has received little environmental scrutiny. Purpose: To estimate the national carbon footprint of flights associated with the CaRMS tour, as well as reductions in emissions achievable by transitioning to alternative models. Methods: We developed a three-question online commuter survey to collect the unique travel itineraries of applicants in the 2020 CaRMS tour. We calculated the emissions associated with all flights and modelled expected emissions for two alternative in-person interview models, and two virtual interview models. Results: We collected 960 responses out of 2943 applicants across all 17 Canadian medical schools. We calculated the carbon footprint of flights for the 2020 CaRMS as 4239 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents), averaging 1.44 tCO2e per applicant. The average applicant's tour emissions represent 35.1% of the average Canadian's annual household carbon footprint, and the emissions of 26.7% of respondents exceeded their entire annual '2050 carbon budget.' Centralized in-person interviews could reduce emissions by 13.7% to 74.7%, and virtual interviews by at least 98.4% to 99.9%. Conclusions: Mandatory in-person residency interviews in Canada contribute significant emissions and reflect a culture of emissions-intensive practices. Considerable decarbonization of the CaRMS tour is possible, and transitioning to virtual interviews could eliminate the footprint almost entirely.
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Videoconferencing and teleworking have become indispensable for many public and private organizations since the appearance of COVID-19. However, the extent to which the pandemic may have a lasting effect on people’s daily life and work remains to be seen. Poor visual and acoustic quality of online meetings could reactivate old communication patterns in the long term. New technologies such as 6G and 3D holography, offering enhanced video quality and online experience, could further drive virtualization in communication. This article investigates the CO2 mitigation potential resulting from the partial replacement of business travel by 6G-enabled 3D videoconferencing in Germany in 2030. The carbon footprint calculation combined with scenario analysis has shown significant results when direct and indirect energy effects are considered. In the different scenarios investigated, a virtual conference would cause between 0.2% and 0.9% of the emissions of a mean-distance conference trip taken by a German business traveler. Considering the mitigation potential of all German conference travel in 2030, emissions could be decreased by 2.1 MtCO2eq (8.9%) and 20.5 MtCO2eq (88.4%), respectively, compared to 2019 under conservative and optimistic assumptions. In terms of current national total emissions, increasing virtualization of conferences could contribute between 0.3% and 2.8% to the German mitigation efforts.
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A novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is not just about physical health; It disrupts daily life on a global scale by changing individual and social attitudes and behaviors. In these conditions, video conferencing applications are becoming mainstream worldwide for the continuation of work, social life and education. Video conferences have helped us to remotely connect study rooms, class-rooms, but after attending one or 2 virtual meetings, listening to an online webinar or two, and per-haps speaking, people begin to express feeling exhausted and nervous. Thus, a new term emerged, also named after a popular application, resulting from the excessive use of video conferencing plat-forms: 'Zoom Fatigue'. Zoom fatigue is defined as feeling tired after a meeting over a video confer-encing tool. Fatigue appears to be different and specific from normal work fatigue. Mechanisms spe-cific to existing video conferencing applications that can cause Zoom Fatigue are suggested. The first mechanism mentions mirror anxiety, which can be triggered by self-gaze in video conferences. The second mechanism is the feeling of being trapped by the need to stay within the camera's field of view. The other mechanism has to do with the increased cognitive load of managing nonverbal be-haviors in this new communication environment. COVID-19 is increasing the long-anticipated trend of remote work. Even as social distancing recommendations are eased and face-to-face meetings be-come safe again, video conferencing apps seem to have the potential to continue to increase produc-tivity and save energy.
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Academic activities such as conferences are very important for research and development, however, carbon emissions derived from face-to-face events have been shown to be much higher than those produced by online events. The aim of this work was to estimate CO2 emissions generated by the 5th National Congress and 1st International Congress of Environmental Sciences “Environmental Sciences in the Anthropocene”. Emissions from direct use of computers and software (emissions from computers, emissions from data transfer) and emissions from other sources (meetings of the organizers, searches, and visits to the website, use of external monitors and lamps), as well as emissions avoided by air and land transport. Congress emitted 4.8 tCO2eq and avoided 33 tCO2eq. The development of online or hybrid events is more environmentally sustainable and could be more accessible to a greater number of people.
Chapter
Die im Zuge der Coronapandemie erfolgten Kontakt- und Ausgangsbeschränkungen führten zu einer Konjunktur von Videochat-Plattformen. Dieser Beitrag nimmt die aktuelle Relevanz von Videochats zur Organisation des privaten und beruflichen Alltags in Online-Meetings zum Ausgangspunkt und widmet sich der Videochat-Plattform Zoom aus medienwissenschaftlicher Perspektive. Diskutiert werden sowohl die Zurichtungen und Reglementierungen des Privaten, die spezifisch sind für die durch Webchats installierten (Un-)Sichtbarkeitsregime, als auch die Videochat-spezifischen Routinen und medienpraktischen Spezifika, die unmittelbare Auswirkungen auf Formen der Gemeinschaftsbildung haben. Zudem aktualisiert die aktuelle Situation eine Medien- und Kulturfiktion des u. a. Philosophen und Vordenkers der Internetgesellschaft Paul Virilio, die nach einer zeitgemäßen Neubewertung verlangt. Die Prämisse des vorliegenden Beitrags ist dabei, dass unsere aktuelle Kultur als eine Medienkultur des Videochattens bezeichnet werden kann.
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Introduction: Academic conferences are carbon-intensive. Conference travel by air contributes to huge amount of global greenhouse gas emissions, which can be reduced by adopting green information systems (green IS or GIS). This study aims to investigate attendees' behaviors for adopting green IS (such as conference apps) from an ecological perspective. Methods: For this research, a survey method was used. Survey instrument had 29 items adapted from existing scales. Data was collected using Mturk's panel of respondents on online Qualtrics. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were conducted on 403 responses for data analysis and validation of the results using SPSS AMOS ver. 24. Findings: This study provides empirical evidence to add ecological beliefs as a key predictor of green IS adoption models. Findings demonstrate that attitudes and ecological beliefs play an essential role in conference app adoption, in comparison with performance expectations, social impacts, and facilitation conditions, as presented in the traditional technology acceptance literature. Findings assist conference owners develop essential communication strategies for green attendees.
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We provide an estimate of the environmental impact of the recruitment system in the economics profession, known as the “international job market for economists”. Each year, most graduating PhDs seeking jobs in academia, government, or companies participate in this job market. The market follows a standardized process, where candidates are pre-screened in a short interview which takes place at an annual meeting in Europe or in the United States. Most interviews are arranged via a non-profit online platform, econjobmarket.org, which kindly agreed to share its anonymized data with us. Using this dataset, we estimate the individual environmental impact of 1057 candidates and one hundred recruitment committees who attended the EEA and AEA meetings in December 2019 and January 2020. We calculate that this pre-screening system generated the equivalent of about 4800 tons of avoidable CO2-eq and a comprehensive economic cost over €4.4 million. We contrast this overall assessment against three counterfactual scenarios: an alternative in-person system, a hybrid system (where videoconference is used for some candidates) and a fully online system (as it happened in 2020–21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Overall, the study can offer useful information to shape future recruitment standards in a more sustainable way.
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While virtual conferences emit far less greenhouse gas emissions relative to their physical counterparts, they still have a considerable impact on the environment arising from participant computer life cycle emissions, network data transfer energy use, server energy use, and other activities that would not have happened without the conference. This article proposes a modifiable framework for systematically measuring the emissions attributable to such conferences using data about participant computers, Internet energy intensity, network data transfer, server power ratings, and other relevant factors. Strategies to reduce emissions attributable to virtual conferences are also proposed based on the framework.
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While video conferencing is often viewed as a greener alternative to physically travelling for face-to-face meetings, it has its own energy and carbon dioxide costs. In this paper we present the first analysis of the total cost of videoconferencing, including network plus videoconferencing equipment operating costs, and lifecycle assessment (LCA) of equipment costs, and compare these costs to the total cost of transport for face-to-face meetings. While the costs of these meeting forms depend on many factors such as distance travelled, meeting duration, and the technologies used, we find that videoconferencing takes at most 6.7% of the energy/carbon of a face-to-face meeting. We analyze the sensitivity of the costs to various factors and consider trends in energy and carbon usage to predict how the comparison might change in the future.
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Rapid growth in internet communication in the last decade has augmented and, to some extent, replaced other means of information transfer. This paper attempts to calculate the energy used by "the internet" in transferring a discrete quantity of information and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this case, we aim to determine the energy used to deliver online advertising to a user. Based on our level of confidence in the information currently available, this analysis is in an early stage that needs significant improvement to become more than an order-of-magnitude estimate. While others have attempted to quantify the energy used in the United States by delivery of information services via the internet, these analyses have focused principally on end-use equipment (PCs and other devices that users interact with directly) or on servers. In this paper we attempt to calculate an average energy use per gigabyte of data transferred over the internet by quantifying the network energy and data traffic. This estimate includes energy used by network equipment up to either A) the user's terminal in business settings or B) the edge of the user's home. We take a similar approach here to the analysis in Koomey (2004), which explores network energy and data flows associated with wireless personal digital assistants. This paper calculates the best estimate of network electricity intensity possible using currently available data. It first illustrates the data and methodology used, then presents the results and discusses implications. Finally it describes conclusions and suggests topics for further research.
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A network-based model of the carbon footprint of the Internet is presented and used to determine the carbon abatement provided by Internet-based telecommuting and teleconferencing services to replace car and air travel. The model includes DSL, FTTN and PON access technologies, edge and core network architectures and is based upon currently commercially available equipment. We show that carbon emissions of the Internet need to be taken into consideration in order to obtain an accurate estimate of carbon abatement provided by the Internet.
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PurposeNowadays, there is one television device for every four human beings, making television one of the most popular pieces of electrical and electronic equipment in our society, with the so-called flat-screen technologies gaining more and more market share. For one such technology, the plasma display panel (PDP), no complete life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have existed thus far, and therefore, the question as to their environmental performance, especially as compared with LCD technology, is still open. This paper describes a detailed LCA study of a PDP television, including a first comparison of it with the two competing technologies, the cathode ray tube and the liquid crystal display technologies. MethodsAn LCA study from cradle to grave—i.e., from the extraction of the various resources used in the production to the final recycling or disposal activities—has been established taking the complete life cycle of one PDP television as the functional unit. ResultsAnalysis of the complete life cycle of a PDP television shows that the distribution stage is of no importance. Of the remaining life cycle stages, the importance of the use phase depends on the actual production mix used for the electricity consumed. A fossil-based electricity mix, such as the Union for the Coordination of Transmission of Electricity (UCTE)-mix, causes an impact in the use phase about two times higher than in the production phase. The production phase is dominated by the printed wiring boards and their various components—responsible for more than three quarters of the impact of this first life stage. Last but not least, in the end-of-life (EoL) phase, substantial environmental benefits are possible through a modern recycling system. A comparison of the PDP with competing technologies shows the PDP technology to be the more environmentally friendly one, based on the impact per square-inch of screen. All technologies show thereby a similar picture—production and use having high impacts, distribution being irrelevant, and EoL resulting in an ecological benefit. ConclusionsHence, it is advisable to use electronic devices such as a PDP television as long as possible, because within the manufacturing stage, the production of the electronics is by far the most important production part. Some of this high environmental impact in electronics can be recovered in an up-to-date recycling system. The second most important life stage is the use phase, which depends on the production mix of the electricity consumed; the more non-renewable sources used for its production, the higher the impact of the use phase will appear. Hence, electronic devices should be used specifically and be turned off when not in use. KeywordsCathode ray tube (CRT) television-Ecoinvent data 2.01-Life cycle assessment (LCA)-Liquid crystal device (LCD) television-Plasma television device-Screen technologies
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Background, aim, and scopeDuring the last decades, the electronics industry has undergone tremendous changes due to intense research leading to advanced technology development. Multiple life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have been performed on the environmental implications of consumer electronics. The aim of this review is to assess the consistency between different LCA studies for desktop computers, laptop computers, mobile phones and televisions (TVs). Materials and methodsA literature study was conducted covering some key LCA contributions to the consumer electronics field. The focus is primarily on global warming potential during 100 years (GWP100) efficiency in different life cycle phases and secondarily on primary energy usage/electricity usages which are normalised per year to find inconsistencies. ResultsThe life cycle impact assessment GWP100 results for consumer electronics over the years suggest that most studies are of comparable quality; however, some studies are neither coherent nor transparent. Published LCAs for mobile phone and TV sets are consistent, whereas for laptop and desktop computers, the studies occasionally give conflicting messages. DiscussionThe inconsistencies appear to be rooted in subjective choices and different system boundaries and lifetime, rather than lack of standardisation. If included, the amounts of emissions of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) are crucial to the GWP100 in the various life cycle phases for a desktop using liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. Another important observation is that the MEEuP methodology report/tool underestimates the GWP100 of electronic component manufacturing processes. ConclusionsBetween 1997 and 2010, the ISO 14040/44 standards have ensured a rather consistent set of GWP100 results for the studied products. However, the lack of transparency for consumer electronics LCAs sometimes makes benchmarking difficult. It is nevertheless possible to compare new LCA calculations to existing studies. It is also possible to reveal which product studies are consistent with studies of submaterials and subcomponents. In most cases, the GWP100 results for consumer electronics are consistent. Based on the survey of published work, recycling and other end-of-life processes have a tiny share of the total GWP100 score for consumer electronics. Recommendations and perspectivesLCA researchers should as a rule, if possible, make a historical survey of their technical system to establish trends, proportions and relations. Policy makers ought to ask for these surveys when using LCAs for decision support. This charter is necessary as to understand the reasonableness of the results. Additions to the ISO14040/44 LCA standardisation for massvolume products would be worthwhile as a means of increasing the consistency.
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The concept of energy-efficient networking has begun to spread in the past few years, gaining increasing popularity. Besides the widespread sensitivity to ecological issues, such interest also stems from economic needs, since both energy costs and electrical requirements of telcos' and Internet Service Providers' infrastructures around the world show a continuously growing trend. In this respect, a common opinion among networking researchers is that the sole introduction of low consumption silicon technologies may not be enough to effectively curb energy requirements. Thus, for disruptively boosting the network energy efficiency, these hardware enhancements must be integrated with ad-hoc mechanisms that explicitly manage energy saving, by exploiting network-specific features. This paper aims at providing a twofold contribution to green networking. At first, we explore current perspectives in power consumption for next generation networks. Secondly, we provide a detailed survey on emerging technologies, projects, and work-in-progress standards, which can be adopted in networks and related infrastructures in order to reduce their carbon footprint. The considered approaches range from energy saving techniques for networked hosts, to technologies and mechanisms for designing next-generation and energy-aware networks and networking equipment.
Conference Paper
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In this paper, we explore ways to combine the video of a remote person with a shared tabletop display to best emulate face-to-face collaboration. Using a simple photo application we compare a variety of social and performance measures of collaboration of a standard non-spatial 2D interface with two approaches for adding spatial cues to videoconferencing: one based on simulated immersive 3D, the other based on video streams in a physically fixed arrangement around an interactive table. A face-to-face condition is included as a 'gold-standard' control. As expected, social presence and task measures were superior in the face-to-face condition, but there were also important differences between the 2D and spatial interfaces. In particular, the spatial interfaces positively influenced social presence and copresence measures in comparison to 2D, but the task measures favored the two-dimensional interface.
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Quantitative environmental performance evaluation methods are desired given the growing certification and labeling landscape for consumer goods. Challenges associated with existing methods, such as life cycle assessment (LCA), may be prohibitive for complex goods such as information technology (IT). Conventional LCA is resource-intensive and lacks harmonized guidance for incorporating uncertainty. Current methods to streamline LCA may amplify uncertainty, undermining robustness. Despite high uncertainty, effective and efficient streamlining approaches may be possible. A methodology is proposed to identify high-impact activities within the life cycle of a specific product class for a streamlined assessment with a high degree of inherent uncertainty. First, a screening assessment is performed using Monte Carlo simulations, applying existing activity (materials and processes), impact, and uncertainty data, to identify elements with the most leverage to reduce overall environmental impact uncertainty. This data triage is informed by sensitivity analysis parameters produced by the simulations. Targeted data collection is carried out for key activities until overall uncertainty is reduced to the point where a product classes' impact probability distribution is distinct from others within a specified error rate. In this thesis, we find that triage and prioritization are possible despite high uncertainty. The methodology was applied to the case study of liquid crystal display (LCD) classes, producing a clear hierarchy of data importance to reduce uncertainty of the overall impact result. Specific data collection was only required for a subset of processes and activities (22 out of about 50) to enable discrimination of LCDs with a low error rate (9%). Most of these priority activities relate to manufacturing and use phases. The number of priority activities targeted may be balanced with the level to which they are able to be specified. It was found that ostensible product attributes alone are insufficient to discriminate with low error, even at high levels of specificity. This quantitative streamlining method is ideal for complex products for which there is great uncertainty in data collection and modeling. This application of this method may inform early product design decisions and enable harmonization of standardization efforts.
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Current industrial processes often involve the collaboration of people at distant and remote locations. The technological media for such a tele-cooperation reach from simple email or text-based chatting systems to highly-sophisticated systems for an interactive video-conferencing. But with limited bandwidth the communication between persons at distant locations is often restricted to single modalities. Although this may still be suitable for some tasks, it may result into serious shortcomings and decreased performance with complex tasks like cooperative assembly or maintenance. This is because restricted communication reduces the availability of a common ground, i.e. sharing a common understanding of knowledge, opinions, and goals. The study presented in this paper examines the effect of different communication media on performance of a collaborative assembly task. The results show that tele-cooperation leads to additional verbal communication (AM(direct)=71.1s; AM(video)=145.6s; AM(audio)=204.7s) and, thus, longer times to complete the task (AM (direct)=45.95 min; AM (video)=50.2 min; am AM(audio)=56.16 min). The percentage of relative speech duration also increases significantly. Workload measurement with NASA-TLX did not show any significant differences between cooperation modes. The results allow estimating the effect of reduced communication modalities on time to complete an assembly task. This facilitates a quantification of temporal requirements in time-critical maintenance and repair tasks.
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This paper provides a unique insight into aspects of stability and change regarding the travel time use of rail passengers in Great Britain between 2004 and 2010. Empirical evidence is presented on how rail passengers spend their time, how worthwhile they consider their time use to be, the extent of advance planning of their time use and how equipped for time use they are in terms of the items they have to hand when they travel. The results reveal a consistent dominance of reading for leisure, window gazing/people watching and working/studying as favoured travel time activities. Over the six-year period, the availability and use of mobile technologies has increased. Listening to music in particular has doubled in its incidence suggesting an increasing capacity for travellers to personalise the public space of the railway carriage. Most notably the analysis reveals a substantial increase in the proportion of travellers overall making very worthwhile use of their time.
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The electric car, once the "zero-emissions" darling of environmentalists, is sometimes maligned as an "emissions-elsewhere" vehicle, since the electricity to charge its batteries must be generated in electrical generation plants that produce emissions. This is a reasonable point, but we must then ask how much pollution an electric car produces per mile – accounting for all emissions, starting from the gas or oil well where the source fuel is extracted, all the way to the final consumption of electricity by the car's motor. When we work through the numbers, we find that the electric car is significantly more efficient and pollutes less than all alternatives. In this paper, we will investigate the Tesla Roadster™, which uses commodity lithium-ion batteries instead of lead-acid batteries or nickel-metal-hydride batteries as most electric cars have used. Not only does this lithium-ion–based car have extremely high well-to-wheel energy efficiency and extremely low well-to-wheel emissions, it also has astonishing performance and superior convenience. Lithium ion batteries are a lot more difficult to use than previous technologies; this is the reason that they have not so far been used in electric cars. Tesla Motors is spending a lot of effort making a safe, light, and durable lithium ion battery system. Over time, Tesla will probably put tens of millions into pack and cell features and optimization. However – as this paper will show, the energy and power density of lithium ion batteries make this effort very worthwhile.
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Recent years have seen a flurry of energy-efficient networking research. But does decreasing the energy used by the Internet actually save society much energy? To answer this question, we estimate the Internet's energy consumption. We include embodied energy (emergy)---the energy required to construct the Internet---a quantity that has often been ignored in previous work. We find that while in absolute terms the Internet uses significant energy, this quantity is negligible when compared with society's colossal energy use.
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The SEAD initiative aims to transform the global market by increasing the penetration of highly efficient equipment and appliances. SEAD is a government initiative whose activities and projects engage the private sector to realize the large global energy savings potential from improved appliance and equipment efficiency. SEAD seeks to enable high-level global action by informing the Clean Energy Ministerial dialogue as one of the initiatives in the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge. In keeping with its goal of achieving global energy savings through efficiency, SEAD was approved as a task within the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) in January 2010. SEAD partners work together in voluntary activities to: (1) ?raise the efficiency ceiling? by pulling super-efficient appliances and equipment into the market through cooperation on measures like incentives, procurement, awards, and research and development (R&D) investments; (2) ?raise the efficiency floor? by working together to bolster national or regional policies like minimum efficiency standards; and (3) ?strengthen the efficiency foundations? of programs by coordinating technical work to support these activities. Although not all SEAD partners may decide to participate in every SEAD activity, SEAD partners have agreed to engage actively in their particular areas of interest through commitment of financing, staff, consultant experts, and other resources. In addition, all SEAD partners are committed to share information, e.g., on implementation schedules for and the technical detail of minimum efficiency standards and other efficiency programs. Information collected and created through SEAD activities will be shared among all SEAD partners and, to the extent appropriate, with the global public.As of April 2011, the governments participating in SEAD are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. More information on SEAD is available from its website at http://www.superefficient.org/.
Article
Virtual meeting solutions, such as audio and video conferencing, are seen as efficient collaboration tools that have the potential to replace face-to-face meetings thereby saving time and reducing costs and carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions. In this paper, the environmental impact in the form of CO 2 and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO 2 e) emissions from three virtual meeting solutions are estimated using a life cycle perspective. The results show that none of the three services exceed emissions of 3 kg CO 2 e per hour of usage. The impact from the usage of video conferencing is compared with the impact from personal air travel during one year. If one long-haul flight per week is replaced, approximately 90 tonnes of CO 2 emissions or about 215 tonnes CO 2 e (including also indirect emissions), could potentially be avoided, while the emissions from the yearly average use of the video conference system adds only about 1.3 tonnes CO 2 e.
Conference Paper
This paper investigates the issues that need to be considered when comparing the environmental impacts of videoconferences and face-to-face meetings. The first part of this paper deals with how the total environmental loads including ripple effects were evaluated. The results show that about 80% less CO<sub>2</sub> is emitted from a face-to-face meeting than from a videoconference. More than 95% of the CO<sub>2</sub> emissions from a videoconference arise from ripple effects, such as the extra time and money used for other business activities. The second part covers a new method for correcting the environmental burdens related to the different functions of a virtual meeting and a real meeting using a "performance indicator". The performance indicator has three components, achievement, comfort and satisfaction, and is evaluated with user questionnaires and experimental results
Article
Power trends in communication networks are analyzed using a transaction-based model. Traffic models are developed for North America and used to evaluate the relative power trends of wireline networks and mobile networks through 2020. An ideal case for aggressive network-efficiency improvement measures is evaluated within this framework and shown to lead to roughly unchanged consumption over the next decade. Implications for future technology requirements are discussed.
Article
In addition to fuels, passenger and freight transport require vehicles and infrastructure. As with fuels, the provision of goods and services that are needed for the operation of transport involves the consumption of energy and the emission of greenhouse gases. The energy consumed and greenhouse gases emitted due to fuel use by vehicles are referred to as direct requirements, while indirect requirements of energy and greenhouse gases are embodied in the goods and services mentioned before. Indirect requirements form a significant part of the total energy and greenhouse gases required for a given transport task. They depend on the transport mode, ranging from 10% to 50% for freight transport and from 25% to 65% for passenger transport. These indirect requirements have to be taken into account when options for reducing the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of the transport sector are to be evaluated.
ICT and energy: techniques for estimating the ICT energy impact in France
  • L Souchon
L. Souchon, ICT and energy: techniques for estimating the ICT energy impact in France, Université Evry Val d'Essonne, 2008. Available: http:// www.biblioite.ethz.ch/downloads/Souchon_these_version-publique.pdf.
Environmental advantages of video conferencing systems – results from a simplified LCA
  • D Quack
  • M Oley
D. Quack, M. Oley, Environmental advantages of video conferencing systems – results from a simplified LCA, in: EnviroInfo 2002, Wien, 2002.
The energy and emergy of the internet Comparison of the energy, carbon and time costs of videoconferencing and in-person meetings
  • B Raghavan
  • J Ma
  • D Ong
B. Raghavan, J. Ma, The energy and emergy of the internet, in: Proceedings of the 10th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets-X), Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2011. 8 D. Ong et al. / Computer Communications xxx (2014) xxx–xxx Please cite this article in press as: D. Ong et al., Comparison of the energy, carbon and time costs of videoconferencing and in-person meetings, Comput. Commun. (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.comcom.2014.02.009
EuP preparatory studies ''televisions'' (Lot 5) – final report on task 8 ''scenario, policy, impact and sensitivity analysis'', Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration
  • L Stobbe
L. Stobbe, EuP preparatory studies ''televisions'' (Lot 5) – final report on task 8 ''scenario, policy, impact and sensitivity analysis'', Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, IZM, Berlin, 2007.
Power consumption of videoconferencing equipment
  • G Constable
G. Constable, Power consumption of videoconferencing equipment, Welsh Video Network, Aberystwyth University, 2011.
Low-power mode energy consumption in california homes
  • A Meier
  • B Nordman
  • J Busch
  • C Payne
  • R Brown
  • G Homan
A. Meier, B. Nordman, J. Busch, C. Payne, R. Brown, G. Homan, et al., Low-power mode energy consumption in california homes, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory CEC-500-2008-035, 2008.
Epson's system for creating environmentally conscious products
  • M Yagasaki
  • E Mimura
  • K Masuzawa
  • Y Ushiyama
  • K Nakano
  • K Nishida
M. Yagasaki, E. Mimura, K. Masuzawa, Y. Ushiyama, K. Nakano, K. Nishida, et al., Epson's system for creating environmentally conscious products, Seiko Epson Corporation.
Life cycle assessment of Autoliv's night vision camera (Master thesis in Environmental Measurement and Assessments), Department of Environmental System Analysis
  • S Kuvalekar
  • M Hussain
S. Kuvalekar, M. Hussain, Life cycle assessment of Autoliv's night vision camera (Master thesis in Environmental Measurement and Assessments), Department of Environmental System Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, 2010.
The value of travel time savings: departmental guidance for conducting economic evaluations (rev 2), U.S. Department of Transportation
  • P Belenky
P. Belenky, The value of travel time savings: departmental guidance for conducting economic evaluations (rev 2), U.S. Department of Transportation 2011.