While video conferencing has been around for years, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that it’s immediately taken on much greater significance. For those who are now working from home, the likes of Zoom and other video calling tools have become a huge part of our everyday lives.
But what sort of impact is all this virtual communication having on the planet? Would you be better off ditching your next video call and sending a quick email instead?
Use our calculator below to estimate how much energy you could be using, based on how much time you spend on video calls each week, on average.
You use2000 kWh
That's equivalent to driving 45 miles in a petrol car
Our calculator is based on research carried out by David Mytton in this blog post.
To estimate the CO2 emissions used per video call, we first estimated the bandwidth used per hour, based on Zoom’s recommended bandwidth requirements.
Assuming an electricity intensity of 0.015kWh/GB for a fixed-line internet data transmission, we then estimated the electricity used per hour.
Finally, using the UK electricity emissions conversion factor for 2020, we calculated the estimated emissions per call in kilograms of carbon dioxide, which we also used to find the emissions of driving a mile in the average petrol car (0.27603kg CO2).