Peas in a Pod!

There’s a new initiative taking place on the south coast at the Borough of Poole that heralds a significant opportunity for local business’s to go green and save money whilst reducing their carbon footprint – and hosted telephony is also included!

The Borough of Poole has committed to a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and willing to involve the local players, Poole set up the Green Positive Environmental Action (PEA) Scheme.

Green PEA is a voluntary certification scheme designed to encourage Poole-based organisations to think about their carbon emissions and then undertake activities in line with expert recommendations.

In summary companies will receive an initial cost analysis on their energy usage to provide a benchmark. They are provided with free energy advice in renewables, telecommunications, energy contracts, water, heating, lighting, etc. Companies can then work through a number of levels within the scheme achieving milestones and accreditations.

To date, 22 organisations have signed up and from the installed recommendations, the scheme will save them £101,348 and 511,000 kg of CO2.

Included in the expert advice, a recommendation is to switch to hosted telephony services. The expert in this instance is Anita Potten, Director of Star Consultants, a locally based Telecommunications Consultancy.

Potten says that in this environmentally conscious day and age, it’s sometimes difficult to partake in any ordinary task without considering the environmental retributions of your actions.

“From the running water while doing dishes to keeping the lights turned on, you suddenly become aware of all of your not-so-eco-friendly habits.

While you shouldn’t stress over calculating your carbon footprints or going off the grid, it is beneficial to maintain a ‘green’ mentality. Fortunately, simple changes such as switching your business’s telephone service over to a VoIP provider can have a positive impact on the environment. VoIP systems offer numerous ways in which business owners can forge a greener business and lifestyle for their employees.”

Less Waste in Landfills 

Traditionally, a business would need a customer premises (CPE) based office phone system which when no longer used would leave the redundant hardware equipment to pile up in landfills.

Potten says that those businesses that choose hosted VoIP phone systems are the eco-friendliest of all.

“When businesses sign up with a hosted business VoIP provider, they don’t need to purchase any hardware or software. The provider installs and maintains all of the necessary equipment at an offsite location. One VoIP provider can supply countless businesses with service, so each individual business does not need to worry about buying their own hardware or finding a storage place for it.

As more and more businesses turn to this kind of VoIP system, fewer businesses require physical equipment on their premises, which in turn eliminates the build-up of VoIP equipment in landfills.”

Fewer Greenhouse Gas Emissions 

It’s a well-known fact that when we drive in cars, our vehicles release harmful gases into the environment, which damage the ozone layer. Every car ride to work adds a little more to the global carbon overload.

Potten advises that Poole PEA clients can drastically reduce the number of employees driving to and from work each day by using VoIP systems.

“VoIP providers offer several features that make it possible for employees to work at home part time or even full time. With features such as virtual extensions, mobile VoIP applications and Find Me Follow Me, it is far easier to employees to work from home.”

Likewise, airplanes release toxins into the environment. Every time employees fly across the country to attend meetings and conferences, the atmosphere pays the price.

The good news, however, according to Potten, is that VoIP providers offer video conferencing options, which can cut down on the number of employees traveling on business. “Video conferencing closes the distance gap between businesses spread out around the world, without harming the environment in the process.

The video conferencing feature could also come in handy for those employees working at home. Remote employees can join in on conference meetings without driving to the office to attend.”

The hosted telephony service being recommended to Poole Green PEA clients is from AVC One where director Adrian Hughes says, “We are delighted to have been chosen to supply hosted telephony solutions to clients for this on-going Green initiative by the Borough of Poole. As well as hosted telephony the AVC group has a number of other products, services and applications designed to reduce the overall level of carbon emissions by business.

For our hosted telephony application AVC One has re-skinned our iGo provisioning platform as a Green PEA service and as well as providing clients with preferential rates and terms a proportion of our profits is given back to support the Green PEA scheme.”

Paul Cooling, Carbon Reduction Manager for Borough of Poole, commented, “The Green PEA initiative is a constituent part of the Covenant of Mayors scheme that stretches across Europe. Already we have seen clients dramatically reducing their carbon footprints and saving money at the same time. Such is the success of the initiative that we are now looking beyond our own area at where Green PEA could be extended.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine