Elearning is Good for the Environment

Written by Gabe Anderson — Posted in E-Learning Industry

Those of us who work in the industry already understand the effectiveness and cost savings of integrating elearning into a training program — and that elearning can even lead to better grades for students — but what about the environmental impact?

Jenna posted this blog entry back in January, but with gas prices here in the U.S. at record levels ($4 or more per gallon in most of the country) , it’s as relevant today as it was at the beginning of the year — and will only become even more important as the cost of energy continues its upward trend:

Consider the energy consumption that occurs whenever employees travel to attend training sessions, seminars, conventions, and face-to-face meetings. Environmental impacts include fuel for transportation (plane, train, bus, car, taxi); electricity to light and heat (or cool) conference rooms, training facilities, and hotel rooms; electricity and water to launder sheets and towels; and gas and electricity for restaurants to cook meals. Imagine also the mounds of paper used for all the training manuals, brochures, business cards, and handouts that are distributed at these events. On top of it all, add in the rising costs of fuel and travel.

So if you’re here in the U.S. and traveling this Independence Day weekend, at least you can feel good knowing that all that elearning content you’re creating is helping to conserve our limited resources.

Open University’s study found that producing and providing distance learning courses consumes an average of 90% less energy and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional face-to-face courses. Wow! Double wow!

So let’s continue creating great content to help people learn — and making the planet a better place in more ways than one.

Happy 4th of July!

7 responses to “Elearning is Good for the Environment”


Hi Gabe,
Thanks for referencing one of my blog articles. Actually, I wrote this blog post in May 2006 on my Corporate Training & e-Learing Blog (http://www.cramersweeney.com/cs_id/trainingblog/index.html) and the blog you link to here is a blog that references my blog and this particular article. Oh, the tangled wordwide web of blogs!! Thank you!

Jenna Sweeney
CramerSweeney Instructional Design

Jenna Sweeney // Posted at 5:06 pm on July 3rd, 2008


Is e-learning or elearning good for the environment. Whenever I have been confused about e-learning or elearning I have gone to http://www.articulate.com for a quick reference. Make a declaration please.

Great post incidentally. I am about to write a blog post reference this post. In the emergency responder industry there is the extra cost that a lot of training has to be scheduled for days-off which means overtime and inconveinence (aka low moral).

Have a great summer.

Greg // Posted at 9:19 pm on July 8th, 2008

[…] Leading up to the July 4th holiday Gabe Anderson of Articulate wrote a blog post about the benefits of e-learning to the environment. (View Gabe’s post). […]


I 100% agree with this article and have thought this for a long time. The numbers are staggering when we can see how much energy we can save and stop unnecessary harmful gases just by using e-learning tools rather than have to travel to a classroom. The savings of gas alone are enough for me but when you add saving on unnecessary paper use and electricity there is no debate!
Thanks, great article.

Metricktraining // Posted at 9:44 am on December 1st, 2008

I belive in this way of teaching .But I have to admite that it a very interesting way of teaching. The way the students see this kind of class has to be visual to understand it and lot of photo or picture to get that idea in . This way can be so bored for them ,because the are in web most of the time.They feel more confident in their home . In these day getting them to go to school is not so easy with other entertaining around their space get more attention that be in a classroom

iris antongiorgi // Posted at 5:56 pm on May 7th, 2009

Economical and Environmental benefits of e-learning are unforgotten things on which we have to work on our journey to adaptation and mitigation of global warming. Imagine how much papers are used at each Institutions and also how much trees are cut for production of paper, energy used for vehicle, for manufacturing….So, without any doubt ,e-learning is Eco-friend way to manage today’s teaching-learning process.

Dida // Posted at 7:51 am on October 1st, 2011

[…] true! According to Articulate, due to fewer physical resources being used (no classrooms, no excess paper, no travel time) online […]

The A to Z of Online Learning | Open Colleges Blog // Posted at 9:27 pm on January 30th, 2013

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