A man using a laptop and a tablet.

Can a cloud solution help the environment? You bet.

Sustainability has moved beyond its buzzword status to become an important part of many companies’ cultures, and many businesses are using a cloud solution to help them achieve their goals. Environmental impact now plays a large part in business decisions and business processes, and the Harvard Business Review found that sustainability gives businesses advantages when it comes to attracting both customers and employees.

Technology, such as cloud business phone systems, can help businesses operate in ways that can lessen their environmental footprints—particularly since cloud systems don’t require cumbersome on-site PBX equipment. In honor of Earth Day, here are three ways cloud phone technology can help your company become more environmentally friendly:

1. Reduce Paper Usage with Paperless Faxes

Every paper fax that is sent affects the environment, since you need an endless supply of paper, seemingly constantly low toner, and a physical fax machine to get the fax from one person to another. With paperless faxes, you can reduce your paper usage and environmental impact by letting your employees send and receive faxes from any device. Your employees can even use paperless faxing to send documents while on the go. You can further decrease your impact by using electronic signatures for contracts and invoices instead of requiring employees and clients to print out forms.

2. Encourage Telecommuting

Every person in your office who switches to telecommuting is keeping a car off the road and reducing emissions. According to a WebEx survey reported on by FlexJobs, if all the workers whose jobs could be completed remotely worked from home even half the time, that would decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons annually, save 640 million barrels of oil, and save $20 million a year on gas. The study also found that teleworking improved air quality, saved energy, reduced carbon footprints, and had less of an impact on transportation infrastructure.

A cloud solution makes it possible for remote workers to be just as productive as if they were in the office. Whether they plug their IP office phones into high-speed internet at home, or make calls via handy mobile apps, they can stay integrated within the office phone system wherever they’re working.

3. Use Video Conferencing

In-person meetings requiring air and car travel often happen so that everyone can meet face-to-face, yet driving and flying both have environmental costs. By using video conferencing and collaboration tools instead of in-person customer and employee meetings, companies can save money on travel and help the environment. Video conferencing can also be used to create a virtual classroom so that your employees don’t have to travel to trainings.

While making these changes with a cloud solution may not seem like it will make a huge impact, every little bit counts. And when your customers, vendors, and competitors see the steps you’re taking toward sustainability, they may be encouraged to become more environmentally conscious as well.

Visit Vonage Business to learn more about the environmental difference you can make with cloud technology.

About Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a technology freelance writer specializing in B2B and telecommunications topics. She has written for national brands including IBM, Samsung, ADTRAN, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Costco and American Express. One of her superpowers is being able to translate technical speak from the experts that make products work into language everyone else can understand. Jennifer has a master’s degree in technical communication and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

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