The firm I work for has just completed measuring it's carbon footprint for 2007. The results? Most of our impact is our travel. Our employees are using alternative travel when we can, we're greening the buildings we occupy, but the real impact of our carbon footprint is the air miles our 2,500 people spend traveling across the country and the world. Alternatives to this? We're starting to use Polyvision Thunder rooms and Cisco's Telepresence systems where we can. We're also taking the train rather than flying. Even still, there are major cultural shifts that will need to happen before we change our "need" to meet face to face with our clients. We're not saying no when we're asked to fly across the country for fear of losing the job. We're a global company and we pride ourselves in our ability to be anywhere we are needed. But is that the right answer? Here are some 'win-win' negotiation tactics for minimizing all those trips with your client:
- $4.50 / gallon is driving our travel expenses sky high. Perhaps we consider saving our face to face meetings for key meetings only. Would you be willing to try new technologies in this project and work virtually for some meetings?
- What if I take the time I spend on the road and use it towards working on your project?
- The environment is very important to our company and we've committed to reducing our carbon footprint. Would you be willing to partner with us in this effort and reduce the number of trips we all take in this project?