There’s an argument to be made that econtent is green content. There’s some truth to that: the notion of a paperless office, virtual collaboration, content management that leads to reuse rather than re-creation—these are all enabled by the fundamental processes covered in the pages of EContent magazine. While we won’t presume to say that we cover digital content technologies because they are green, we have always recognized the opportunity for these technologies to provide alternatives to their paper-based, travel- and resource-intensive alternatives. Of course, the "e" in econtent doesn’t refer to ecologically friendly; it stands for electronic, which bears its own significant environmental footprint. However, we are pleased to report that our industry prides itself on recognizing the opportunity that digital alternatives may provide to possibly alleviate some of the impact the content industry has on our planet. We are also happy to see that this industry recognizes its own shortcomings in this objective—and, well, admitting the problem is the first step toward solving it.
Here we take a closer look at some of the areas in which the digital content industry offers solutions that may help green the planet, but that also may provide a bit of green for the bottom line: software as a service, which allows companies to leverage powerful software solutions without hosting large amounts of data on-site (as well as boasting a pay-as-you-go model); digital content publishing, which offers an alternative to paper that may enhance the user experience (along with some ways in which publishers can reduce their impact offline as well); and virtual conferences, which can allow many more attendees to participate while reducing the impact of business travel (and the cost of sending exhibitors and attendees to events).
Ultimately, it may not be easy to be green, but it has become increasingly imperative for our planet as well as for corporate image and the bottom line.
SaaS: The Secret Weapon for Profits (and the Planet) by Carolina K. Reid
The Green Pages: Publishers Strive to Reduce Their Environmental Impact by Ron Miller
Virtual Trade Shows: A Realistic Alternative to Business Travel? by Marji McClure