A study by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a nonprofit collecting climate change data, says that using using video conferencing to replace business trips could save the economy $19 billion dollars by the year 2020.
The research looked at a number of case studies and estimated the impact of all companies with more than $1 billion in revenues installing four video conferencing suites to replace travel.
As adoption grew, the study said that economic savings from video conferencing would grow from $315 million a year in 2010 to $3.5 billion by 2020. Companies would also return their entire upfront investments in just 15 months.
The transition to video conferencing technology would also provide substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The study says the use of video conferencing by large companies would eliminate 5.5 metric tons of carbon emissions - or the equivalent of pulling more than one million cars off the road.
The study did not account for the additional economic and environmental impact of the adoption of video conferencing by small businesses, which also stand to gain. A recent article by VoIPPlanet.com found that the price of adopting the technology was dropping - lowering entry barriers for smaller companies.