The Global View

A word to the carbon-minded: It’s time to walk the walk

Here’s a question: why would an organisation dedicated to publishing greenhouse gas emissions data not realise that traveling by plane unnecessarily contributes to the problem it’s supposedly interested in solving?

Cisco blogger James Martin recently wrote about how would-be travelers had to find different ways of conducting long-distance business when the erupting volcano in Iceland forced numerous airports to shut down. One of Cisco’s own executives — Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of the company’s Emerging Technologies Business Group — ended up using Cisco’s TelePresence to join a virtual press conference when his flight to Oslo was canceled.

Another stranded traveler happened to be Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project. Dickinson was supposed to have flown to Beijing to conduct three job interviews but instead was left grounded in London. So he too used TelePresence to interview the candidates virtually.

Now here’s the “duh” moment. Dickinson later told Fortune that, “I realise now that you can even appoint someone remotely. That’s pretty transformative.”

Transformative? A few years ago perhaps. Should be painfully obvious today, however, especially for an organisation that says it puts greenhouse gas reporting “at the heart of financial and policy decision-making.”