Ireland’s Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has a mission that includes effective environmental protection, addressing climate change, protecting water resources and ensuring community planning that respects sustainable and balanced regional development. This mission is vitally important for keeping Ireland – and the rest of the Earth – healthy for future generations.

When it comes to fighting for the environment, the agency that’s preaching sustainability and conservation can’t be a part of the problem. It was important for the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to practice what it preached by identifying ways to cut carbon emissions and becoming greener across the board.

However, with regional offices located in Dublin, Ballina, Tubbercurry and Wexford, constant travel for meetings and events left the department with a carbon footprint larger than the Loch Ness Monster.

To help minimize their carbon footprint without disrupting communication and collaboration among their distributed branch offices, the department turned to today’s advanced Unified Communications (UC) technologies.

Utilizing video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions, managed centrally within their Microsoft® Lync™ environment, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government began conducting meetings among their regional offices via video. And these video meetings are delivering positive results.

According to a recent press release, the VTC solutions are increasing collaboration between offices. Over a six-month period the department conducted over 1850 meetings, more than 95 percent of them via video. The video calls, and ability to share and collaborate on files and documents in real time, are helping to expedite decision making and make the department more efficient.

Paul Mc Donald, principal officer for both ICT and Communications Units for the department was quoted as saying:

“Prior to deploying…we would have had various iterations of documents flying around the network. The increased collaboration has been hugely beneficial as meetings can now be done over a video call. We can share the document during the video meeting and work on it together so everybody provides input. In the space of an hour or two you actually have a working document that may have taken weeks to complete in the past.”

Protecting the environment, supporting sustainable growth and ensuring that we pass down a healthy, clean Earth to future generations are major initiatives for all nations across the globe. By embracing VTC to reduce travel, increase collaboration and cut their carbon footprint, Ireland’s Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is providing a blueprint for all government agencies – and all countries – to follow.