Online research and carbon emissions
11/1/10 / David Kennedy
Does online research (specifically focus groups) reduce greenhouse gas emissions of in-person research? Given our interest in “green” we were excited to look at this report.
According to a recent report by Revelation, in-person groups create more than 2.5 times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than online research (even when all the extra computing power is factored in). However, I have to question the savings in food and facility energy – if they’re at home on their computers are they sitting in the dark and not eating?
Still, I believe even if that is factored back in, there is still a savings, and with the number of focus groups conducted daily around the country, the impact quickly adds up.
I’m not suggesting we should use online focus groups over in-person groups all of the time – the nature of the group and the project should still dictate that choice – but the impact shouldn’t be ignored either. Don’t forget too – video streaming of in person groups could eliminate one of the largest chunks of emissions – client travel.
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