How Virtual Reality (VR) is Paving the Way for More Sustainable and Productive Business Collaboration?

Jussi Havu
July 26, 2023
sustainable and productive collaboration in virtual reality

As businesses continue to focus on sustainability, virtual reality (VR) is providing a powerful option for more sustainable and productive collaboration. 

But why choose VR collaboration over traditional in-person meetings or video conferences? Well, VR has the best of both worlds. 

VR collaboration enables the same remote meeting benefits as video conferences: no travel costs, no travel emissions, zero time spent on travel, no physical event materials, signage & branding, no event location costs. And in addition to saving time, money and environment, VR provides a more engaging and collaborative option for your remote collaboration compared to video conference.

So let’s have a closer look at the true benefits of VR meetings and how they impact the sustainability and productivity of your business.

1. Significant Carbon Emission Savings on Business Travel and Commute

According to a McKinsey report from 2020, prior to the pandemic, business travel accounted for approximately 15 to 20% of all travel worldwide. Now, international travel demand is back to the pre-pandemic level and International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated that in order to achieve Net Zero by 2050, the aviation industry should reduce emissions by 50%.

But how substantial emission savings are we talking about if in-person meetings are replaced by VR collaboration? Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) held a senior legal meeting in VR which traditionally took place in person. The CO2 calculations revealed that if all participants (10 people) had traveled to Houston, air travel alone would have generated 5,658 kg (12,473 lbs.) of CO2.

This is equivalent to 282 VR meetings as one VR meeting only generated emissions of 20 kg of CO2. If this one team has similar meetings every quarter, the annual carbon emissions savings would amount to 22,552 kg per year just from business travel. This is equivalent to 5 gasoline-powered cars driven for 1 year or 2.7 million phones charged. To offset this amount of emissions, 373 trees should be growing for at least 10 years. And that is a lot for one quarterly meeting.

Furthermore, commuting adds another layer to work-related travel. According to various sources and emission calculators, on average a commute in the US takes about an hour and with the average distance of 41 miles, which equals to  5,720 kg of CO2 per person every year. Also these emissions can be significantly reduced or eliminated with effective remote work.

2. Improved Engagement, Presence and Collaboration over Video Conferencing

Contrary to the notion that remote meetings or events can be lacking in involvement and networking opportunities, VR offers enhanced engagement and interactivity that video calls simply can no provide due to its 2D nature. There are plenty of studies like this that demonstrate that in VR meetings participants feel more connected, more excited and more immersed than on video conferences.

The immersive nature of VR is the essence defining the entire experience. In VR, people from different parts of the world can virtually meet in one space and collaborate as they would in the real world.

For these reasons, teams at companies like Deutsche Telekom MMS and Axel Springer have been utilizing Glue to conduct various types of workshops, team meetings, customer meetings, training and events.

3. Virtual Experiences that Surpass the Boundaries of Reality

Furthermore, VR collaboration can offer experiences that go beyond what is possible in traditional types of meetings. In the real world, we are confined by geography, time, and resources. In virtual environments, possibilities are endless.

Virtual experiences present businesses with a distinct opportunity to e.g.  showcase their products or services in a virtual environment, allowing potential customers to experience and interact with the product from every angle, even from the inside. 

This new dimension offers an attractive way to highlight the unique features and benefits of a product that would have been impossible to showcase in a traditional event. Quantum computer manufacturer, IQM is taking advantage of VR in its every product showcase meeting due to VR’s powerful way to visualize the technology, engage with a client and demonstrate the potential of quantum computing.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, VR offers a unique opportunity for businesses to reduce emissions, save costs, while providing engaging and innovative remote collaboration experiences for their employees, partners and customers. 

As more and more companies prioritize sustainability, VR will continue to pave the way for a more eco-friendly and productive way to work, host events and collaborate.

Ready to explore the possibilities of immersive VR learning?

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