55

Million Metric Tons of CO2

avoided by enabling customers to work from home

100%

CAGR

in total revenue, 2018 - 2020

3

X Growth

Rapid adoption beyond North America: 3x year-on-year bookings in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and 2.5x year-on-year bookings in Latin America

View Our Analysis

The Path to Drawdown: Telepresence

From multipurpose-room systems, immersive telepresence, desktop systems, videophones, and cloud-based software systems, telepresence comes in a variety of forms. But what they all have in common is that they can replace flying for business meetings and reduce overall air and land transportation.

Air travel is estimated to account for ~2.5% of global CO2 emissions. That’s more than 700 million tons of CO2 annually. A big chunk of this is from business air travel.

By integrating telepresence systems, companies, schools, hospitals and museums can offer their services and facilitate communication to people without being in the same place. This way they can avoid emissions from commutes and business travel by air. Not only that, telepresence can help cut costs and ease employee schedules by avoiding travel, enhance meeting productivity and faster decision-making, and increase interpersonal connection across geographies.

The global market for telepresence solutions is on the rapid rise, from US$2.2 billion in 2010 to US$3.3 billion in 2014. The novel coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated this adoption.

Project Drawdown estimates that, if telepresence is used widely enough to replace 16-30% of global air business travel by 2050, it can help avoid 1 gigaton to 3.8 gigatons of CO2 equivalent emissions. This would mean that between 486 - 676 million business-related trips will be replaced, US$1.2-4.4 trillion worth of business travel savings, and between 107 - 143 million fewer unproductive travel hours.

What We Want to See Improve

Eliminate the Carbon Footprint of Video Conferencing

Research published in April 2021 found that one hour of video conferencing can emit up to 10% of emissions from a gallon of gasoline burned from a car. While it’s true that Zoom calls have replaced a large portion of business travel, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, emissions from the transfer, storage and processing of internet data is sizable and can’t be ignored. We urge Zoom to switch completely to renewable sources of energy to cut emissions to zero.

Set Concrete Targets for Emissions Reduction

Zoom’s promise to reimagine their real estate needs with an emphasis on sustainability is encouraging, but we’re not quite sure what this means in practice. To put this in concrete terms, we want to see Zoom set precise targets for GHG emissions reduction by a specific date so that investors can hold them accountable for their carbon footprint.

Ensure that Zoom’s Technology is Secure

In the past, Zoom experienced (p. 19) security vulnerability with their Zoom Meeting platform that allowed unauthorized users to gain access to other users’ system and disrupt their calls (“Zoom bombing”). To their credit, Zoom released updates to the software addressing these vulnerabilities. But the threat of cyberattacks, hacking ad other malicious internet-based activity is now ubiquitous, and we urge Zoom to constantly improve their cyber security measures in all of its products.

Related Telepresence Stocks in the Climate Index

View All Climate Index Stocks →

Allocated Company Description

4.94%

Zoom (ZM)

Zoom offers a unified digital communications platform, integrating video, phone, chat and content sharing - replacing carbon-intensive business travel

3.49%

Docusign (DOCU)

DocuSign offers products that let organizations electronically manage contracts, replacing carbon-intensive business travel

0.07%

AudioCodes Ltd. (AUDC)

AudioCodes offers VoIP network routing, media servers, and value-added applications for businesses. Telepresence cuts emissions from business air travel

0.07%

Kaltura, Inc. (KLTR)

Kaltura offers video products that are heavily used in distance learning for virtual classrooms.

0.02%

ClearOne, Inc. (CLRO)

ClearOne offers conferencing, collaboration and streaming solutions for businesses. Telepresence can help reduce emissions from business air travel

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