Microsoft, Shell, Ford. These are just some of the companies that have committed to becoming net-zero in the next couple of decades. As organizations discuss ways of making their processes and procedures more environmentally friendly, one way of reducing a company’s carbon footprint is through virtual reality training.
The Environmental Cost of Business Travel
Traditional methods of training are costly, not only for company budgets but also for the environment. It’s not uncommon for organizations to station employee onboarding or upskilling in an area outside of the office – often requiring either land or air travel. With some training sessions spanning multiple days, hotel and food costs may also be incurred. These activities significantly contribute to a company’s carbon footprint.
Virtual reality training brings flexibility to a company’s employee training program – limiting the need for excess travel. Training professionals no longer need to be flown out to various cities to facilitate training programs as teaching can be done through a headset.
Training with the Motive VR Training Platform means employees can participate in self-led training, where trainees are taught processes, procedures, and skills within the headset itself. This allows trainers to stay in the cities they reside in, focusing on developing the training programs themselves and providing key support to users digitally.
We can take it a step further where employees don’t even need to participate in training at their workplace – meaning virtually no travel required. VR headsets can be sent directly to a trainee’s residence and training can be completed on their own time with self-led training.
If in-person training is required for certification, virtual reality allows employees to prepare for such training. Having exposure and practice with the content they will be presented ahead of time allows for time to be saved once in-person training begins. In-person trainers can then use their time more efficiently.
The Environmental Cost of Equipment
People, including both trainees and subject matter specialists, are not the only things being transported around to train employees. The equipment needed to train employees also has an impact when it comes to carbon emissions. Whether it be through air or truck freight, moving around this equipment is not an efficient option if we consider environmental impact.
Think about the cost of transporting a machine to allow hands-on practice for employees. Multiphoton Optics, a 3D printing machine company, used to travel with a 3D printer to trade shows, incurring large costs. They replaced the machine with a VR headset, enabling potential clients the opportunity to interact with the equipment virtually. After calculating the weight and size of the machine, Multiphoton Optics found they were reducing their carbon footprint by 98.5% – a drastic difference of 96.1 tons to 1.4 tons of CO2 per round trip.
While this example may not have illustrated training specifically, many other organizations require taking large pieces of equipment off of their front lines and bringing it to various training sessions. Training in VR allows companies to produce the same, or even better, training results without the need for this transportation – saving costs both on training budget and on the environment.
VR Training is Repeatable
Trainees may be required to not only train when being onboarded, but also being retrained or upskilled in the near future. This means multiple flights for trainees, trainers, and equipment during one’s career for the purpose of training. Luckily, VR training itself is repeatable.
Little to no environmental resources are required to create additional training modules for retraining or upskilling, including soft skills training. Particularly with the Motive VR Training Platform, learning and development teams can make easy edits to scenarios and builds they have already created using our codeless authoring tool. The new scenarios can be deployed quickly to the same headsets used for onboarding. No need for travel to another facility.
Decentralizing traditional training through the use of VR training comes with many benefits, including both monetary and environmentally. With less need for both human travel and equipment transportation, and the reusability of VR training scenarios, VR training helps companies reduce their carbon footprint and brings them one step closer to being net-zero.
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