“Green” has been the trendy buzzword for just about everything. How often are we told that we need to do our part to “green” the planet by reducing our carbon footprint? Sure, every little bit helps, but when does it become overkill? Instead of worrying about supplying recycled napkins and discontinuing bottled water at a corporate gathering, how about holding a Web conference instead? The next time a training conference needs to be held, offer online training instead. Not only will your company be doing right by the environment, you’re guaranteed to save a few bucks as well. After all, all those recycled paper products and organic food you were planning to serve at your next conference will certainly cost more than a Webcast.
Most corporations are doing their share to help promote sustainability and eliminate waste. That includes upgrading facilities to make them environmentally friendly, as well as encouraging employees to be conscious of the waste their jobs produce. Fair trade coffee is now served in the cafeteria, and the water cooler has reappeared to replace the vending machines full of plastic bottled water. But, is that enough? If a company is making a concerted effort to become environmentally friendly, then why is it still needlessly transporting its employees through the not-so-friendly skies for meetings and training sessions? The Internet is the greenest alternative available to indulge a sanctimonious need to “go green”. Yet, many companies are still reluctant to utilize it to its fullest potential.
Online training exists for so many categories that the need for green meetings is virtually obsolete. Instead of scrambling to find recycled paper banners and name badges, why not put together a Webinar for trainees to watch at their desks in their offices or at home? Save a few thousand gallons of jet fuel by giving employees the opportunity to skip that crowded seminar at the hotel ballroom and complete their training in an environment more conducive to learning, like their favourite chair? There’ll be no worry about carbon emissions or what to do with the leftover food from the lunches and coffee breaks if there is no lunch or coffee break in the first place. Postconsumer recycled paper products and vegetable inks are charming, but you can give trainees something to really be impressed with by offering them the ability to complete their necessary courses online, instead of getting “green” stuffed down their throats.
We can all take a lesson from the United States government by trimming some fat from our budgets with online academic training. From a dollars and “sense” perspective, recycled green meeting materials still cost money. Online training isn’t free, but it is by far more cost-effective; not to mention effective.
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