The Environmental Benefits of Elearning

Designing Digitally


Custom eLearning Programs

There are many reasons that companies today are opting to go with an online training strategy. With eLearning, companies have access to benefits such as higher ROI, increased employee performance, reduced training expenses, and many others. However, another major benefit that can be overlooked at times is the impact that eLearning has, or perhaps doesn’t have, on the environment.

Incorporating an eLearning training program at your company can lead to huge benefits for the environment. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest environmental advantages gained with this learning approach and the impact they can have.

Training Materials and Resources

According to research, 350 million cartridges end up in a landfill each year from printing, which is estimated to take around 1,000 years to decompose completely. With an eLearning training strategy, you can eliminate the need for physical materials completely, which are often required with traditional instructor-led training. By offering reusable materials, which are available electronically with online learning,  you can create a major benefit to the environment.


When creating training resources, the environment is negatively impacted by paper usage. With evidence from the National Wildlife Foundation revealing that paper represents over 60% of waste occurred from educational institutes alone, this cannot be overlooked. Even more alarming is that every ton of paper that is wasted translates to 16 large trees that were killed for production. Additionally, the amount of paper that is thrown out yearly is said to equate to a 12 ft. wall that could stretch from New York to California. With paper manufacturing being a huge drain on fossil fuels, the third largest of all industries to be exact, online training is a great way to help save trees and maintain a healthy environment.

Training Facilities

As your workforce expands, you will need to grow your training areas to properly accommodate the heightened learning demand. Online training eliminates the need for any building remodels or purchasing additional training space, which can require harming present vegetation and plants in order to execute new building plans. In addition, training facilities need to be maintained with things such as heating/air, power, etc., utilizing more energy. With eLearning, you can remove the need for in-person training locations and offer courses that can be accessed from nearly anywhere, with no additional threats to the environment and a reduction in energy consumption through remote delivery options.


If your company requires off-site training, your employees have to have a form of transportation. Today, the most common forms of commuting utilize gasoline, which directly impacts the environment. According to research from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 600 gallons of gas are used yearly by Americans, which equates to about $2,600 in personal expenses. With eLearning, you can limit the use of nonrenewable resources while also helping to lower associated traveling costs.

Carbon Dioxide

With transportation, you also typically have carbon dioxide emissions which are very harmful to the environment. A study done by the Stockholm Environmental Institute stated that those who take advantage of eLearning, when compared to traditional training, create 90% less carbon dioxide emissions from the elimination of cars or other forms of transportation. Also, based on the study conducted at the Open University, it was found that “distance learning higher education courses involve 87% less energy and 85% lower CO2 emissions than the full-time campus-based courses.”, which can be applied to your corporate training programs as well through the implementation of online employee training.

Keeping these factors in mind, it is apparent that eLearning training platforms have a major impact on the environment, for the better. By offering learning and development opportunities that promote a safer and cleaner environment, you can also make it known that your company takes pride in helping and can instill a positive association with your brand. With online training, you truly are making the world a better place while helping your workforce flourish.

Designing Digitally specializes in creating custom eLearning programs that will prepare your employees for success. If your company is interested in an innovative training solution that will address your individual needs and goals, contact our team of experts today to learn more.