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Why It Matters

Business travel is a big greenhouse gas emitter.

Calling in for meetings using Zoom or WebEx has become ubiquitous with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this trend might just continue after humanity overcomes the pandemic because of its climate and financial benefits. By integrating high-performance visual, audio, and network technologies, remote work allows people to interact across geographies. 

Today, air transportation accounts for around 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, at more than 700 million tons annually. A big part of this is from business air travel. Until recently, long-distance business travel was unavoidable: air travel over 1,500 kilometers has no practical alternative mode of transport. 

Remote work is the zero-emission alternative.

But as we saw during the COVID shutdowns that large swaths of business can be done over telepresence platforms. It's a direct alternative to business travel. According to Project Drawdown, we can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3.8 gigatons by 2050 if calling in remotely replaces 676 million business-related trips. 

Doing so would be a financial win for companies, too. For organizations, the investment of $104 - 366 billion in telepresence systems pay off with $1.2 - 4.4 trillion worth of business travel savings and 107 - 143 billion fewer unproductive travel hours. 

Here are the companies making it happen.

At Carbon Collective, we take all of the companies that offer telepresence-related solutions that are traded on US stock markets. Then we first take out penny stocks whose share prices were lower than $0.50 in our last update. We then exclude companies that aren't exclusively focused on providing digital tools that enable video messaging, collaboration and remote work.

So the Climate Index includes the companies that are at the forefront of bringing telepresence to more people and organizations to replace business travel. If you are a Carbon Collective member, you own all of these companies through the Climate Index.

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