Today is Earth Day—the day we honor the environment and our vows to protect it. People and companies globally are coming together to celebrate the earth by planting trees, marching for more regulations and gathering to raise mindful awareness for the challenges we all face when it comes to preserving this amazing planet we call home.
One of the reasons I love working at BlueJeans is because the foundation of our business is all about connecting people together—colleagues, partners and customers—to get business done most effectively, wherever those people are. With technology like ours at your fingertips, all companies can work toward reducing their carbon footprint. And many already are. In 2018, BlueJeans customers saved over 40.5 million carbon pounds by using video (up from 24.5 in 2018), and customers have saved over million carbon pounds in 2019 to date.
And then there are customers like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that make it their entire mission to save planet earth. Since 1970, NRDC has worked to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities.
Today, NRDC combines the expertise of nearly 500 scientists, lawyers, and advocates with the power of more than two million members and online activists to confront our planet's most pressing problems.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with NRDC’s Deputy Director of IT, Leonard Patterson, about the organization’s important efforts to save the environment and how BlueJeans helps them to drive progress within the company. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Can you share a little bit about your background and role at NRDC?
LP: My official title here at NRDC is IT Deputy Director and I’ve been with the organization for 15 years. I am responsible for the successful delivery of all IT services to end users as they pertain to network and cloud access, seamless remote authentication for internal resources, training of IT solutions, and all helpdesk services.
Q: How does BlueJeans allow you and your teams to engage in a meaningful way?
LP: NRDC is a growing organization, now more than ever. The general public (as well as our major donors) have increased their investment in our cause and we have responded by hiring more people within our main offices as well as hiring advocates that primarily work with city groups. This means we have the highest amount of remote workers in the history of our organization.
BlueJeans helped us here in two ways. First, we were successful in our goal to standardize the scheduling and joining process of all video conferences regardless of endpoint. This sped up the adoption process while shifting the responsibility of joining a video conference to the user. Previously IT had to set up every video conference for the organization which accounted for 40% of the help desk tasks.
Second, by pushing the BlueJeans application to all staff, we now had the ability to join video conferences that were based in a specific office. This was a boon for remote workers and benefitted the staff that took early advantage of our burgeoning working from home policy. It also cut the need to travel to other offices for conferences. The ROI in this regard was clearly outlined in Command Center and we were sure to provide those financials to leadership.
Q: You’ve had so many victories over the years. Which achievement at NRDC are you most proud of and why? What role did videoconferencing play in helping your team(s) achieve this goal?
LP: A major win I can vividly remember is when President Obama, after several years of NRDC advocacy, rejected the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, which would have shipped the volatile crude oil through environmentally sensitive and agriculturally important areas, and onto to Gulf Coast refineries. Before the news was mainstream, our President and chief litigators reported this huge win to the NRDC team using BlueJeans. Hearing about major wins like this through the people that worked on the initiative gave us all a sense of pride that we are all working towards saving the environment. Doing it via BlueJeans was more effective (and beneficial) for staff than via an email.
Q: What advice do you have for organizations looking to decrease their carbon footprint?
LP: Leveraging cloud-based video conferencing that is easy to use on the laptop, mobile device, and room systems can and will reduce the need to physically attend any meeting. You save money by reducing travel and you reduce your carbon footprint that goes along with the fuel associated with that travel.
Q: Do you have any specific plans in support of Earth Day?
LP: NRDC is hosting a Comedy Event in NYC, offering welcome comic relief in support of the organization’s work to protect public health and the environment on April 30th. The lineup includes comedy legends and environmental advocates Mike Birbiglia, Tiffany Haddish, Hasan Minhaj, John Mulaney, John Oliver and Sarah Silverman.
To Lenny and everyone else involved with NRDC - Thank you for all you’re doing to save the environment, and keep up the good work!
To find out more information about how you can help NRDC address environmental injustice, build bridges between communities, and create a just clean future, visit www.NRDC.org. Also, consider making a donation to NRDC of $10 or more for your chance to win two tickets to NRDC’s upcoming Comedy Show, plus airfare for two to New York City, a night in a hotel, and access to a cocktail reception and VIP after-party.
To find out how you can easily see how much your video conferencing solution is impacting travel—both in miles reduced and pounds of carbon saved, check out this video on the BlueJeans Command Center.