VoIP technology could help SMEs cut their carbon footprint and help the UK reach environmental targets, according to new research.Interwise, a global provider of voice, web and video conferencing for businesses, has revealed that the worldwide demand for IP-based conferencing has already risen by 45 per cent in the last year.Increased use of internet conferencing could cut down the number of flights SME employees have to make to attend meetings and thus reduce emissions, the report claims."The CO2 savings from just one transatlantic trip avoided are around 1.5 tonnes of CO2; even a medium-sized corporation that reduces its international trips by 20 per month is able to save 360 tonnes per year," explained Tony Gasson, vice president of European operations at Interwise."If more firms were to upgrade employees' desktop tools to allow uninhibited access to virtual meetings, UK businesses could begin to contribute better progress toward the country's 2011 carbon reduction goals."According to figures from the National Office of Statistics (ONS), 27 per cent of all international journeys to the UK were business trips. Similarly, UK workers made eight million business trips abroad in 2004.Recently politicians called on the UK's SMEs to lead the way in instigating greener working practices."Small businesses are a vital sector because they have a rooting in their community and surroundings that huge multi-nationals cannot hope to have," said Green MSP Mark Ballard.© Adfero Ltd