Top 3 considerations when planning your organisation's green strategy

Reduce travel costs - good for your budget, and the environment

Collaborative working via Unified Communications can help reduce the financial impact of travel on your business. Whether it's holding interactive meetings, making presentations or delivering training - it's easier than ever for groups of people to connect virtually.

Not only can it help save your organisation money, but it also can reduce your impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Whether its car travel between meetings, or international travel on aeroplanes, it all adds up.

Cisco reduced its travel run rate by around $400m through the use of its own technologies, which in turn supported its efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 25%. It saved 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide in just one meeting when some attendees connected remotely - proof that Unified Communications can bring both financial and green benefits to an organisation.

Allow remote working - increasing flexibility for both workers and the organisation

Remote working can be achieved with little interruption to your organisation. Presence applications allow workers to access data remotely and route their calls to their desk phone, home phone or mobile seamlessly. Accessibility from any location ensures customers receive first time call resolution and workers can quickly find the answers they require to complex questions, increasing their individual productivity.

Operational and capital costs can be significantly reduced with less building space required and a reduction in energy utilisation from running large office buildings. Workers and organisations can gain greater flexibility and utilise a full working day creating a happier and more productive organisation.

BT said its productivity increased by a fifth when some staff were allowed to work from home, and it cut its offices from 23 to 5 in London. "It has been absolutely beneficial to increasing productivity and reduced our need for office space, resulting in annual savings of £88 million on overheads," said BT's South East Regional Director.

Comply with climate change legislation

With the UK's Climate Change Act 2008 committing the UK to a 34 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 - and around 20,000 businesses needing to now comply with the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme - climate change legislation is likely to impact your organisation either now or in the future.

The key component to complying with legislation is reducing power consumption, and for that Unified Communications can play its part.

This can be achieved through remote working as described above, but even when in the office there are power savings to be made. For example workers can route their calls to any desk they are at meaning telephones only need to be powered when they are in the office and need a phone. When you consider that powering down just 500 phones and 100 switches overnight for a year can save over 40,000 kW, small changes can significantly help with legislation compliance.