4 Tested Environmental Benefits of Working Remotely
Remember the video of dolphins swimming in Venice’s canals during the quarantine?
Or the substantial improvement of air quality in the world’s major cities. And even the significant stop of global warming.
Although quarantine is an experience that many will not want to repeat, we can take things from it to replicate them now and help the environment. Within them is remote work.
Remote work benefits the environment in 3 key ways if certain conditions are met and go along with a deep environmental awareness from workers and companies.
Let’s start, stay tuned and at the end of the article we’ll share with you tips to make remote work greener and more eco-friendly.
1. Reduce greenhouse gasses: Help to ice down the atmosphere.
According to statistics from EPA, the US environmental protection agency, 27% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the transport sector. It is one of the most polluting sectors due to burning fuel. The picture is similar in other industrialized countries.
To mitigate the emission of these gasses, a study conducted in Barcelona and cited in the financial journal Forbes, suggests implementing remote working modalities with at least 3 days of intensity.
Working remotely reduces workers commuting on a daily basis, and this has a positive impact on the reduction of GHG. Thus, working from home reduces up to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions generated by traffic, plus, you can save time spent on traffic.
Although this effect is positive, other research published by the journal IOP publishing concludes that the reduction of greenhouse gasses is only possible under certain conditions. That is, if you travel long distances more often, you spend more electricity in the house, you buy more stuff, the effect can be reversed.
2. Clean skies and fresh air
According to the Organización Panamericana de Salud, 99% of the population is breathing unhealthy air, that is, highly polluted. The effect of this air on humans in the short and long term generates serious respiratory infections, lung cancer, and even severe heart conditions.
How does remote work help reduce pollution? According to the researchers, the key is to reduce the pollution generated by traffic and diesel burning.
In the study carried out in the city of Barcelona cited above, they found that increasing the intensity of remote work from 2 days per week to 4 days, decreases air pollution by up to 10%, especially in areas with a lot of traffic, and in general the urban area of the city.
3. Reduces the carbon footprint
When the whole company works remotely, the use of traditional offices that pollute decreases. For example, for the construction of an office building, 16% to 45% of energy is used, which has direct effects on the growth of the carbon footprint, according to the Environmental Energy Study Institute of the United States.
Under intensive remote work modality, you save money in the maintenance of facilities and help the environment, reducing the electrical energy used for cooling and heating spaces that can reach up to 30% of polluting electricity consumption.
Tips to make remote work greener and more sustainable
Earth Share is a non-profit organization that has been in the market for 30 years collaborating with public and private sector companies to get environmental representation in them. It also helps create sustainable solutions to environmental crises around the world.
They advise that companies follow these tips if they want to be greener and more eco-friendly :
- Promote environmental education.
- If you’re working on a hybrid model, promote the use of sustainable transport, and use incentives to persuade them.
- Open spaces to discuss eco-friendly strategies that can be applied to the company’s processes.
Choose coworking spaces instead of traditional offices. According to the Diario Responable, the concept of coworking helps combat climate change, since most are designed following eco-friendly trends and are also located in strategic areas of the city so that workers can arrive on bicycles, skates etc.
Also, give a thought to the 4-day working week option. Reducing the working week has a direct effect on decreasing the emission of GHG and pollution by commuting.
This scope shows that remote work contributes to the healing of the planet, but actions must go beyond staying at home. To get a change that works, it must be collective and strategic, and it must promote mindset shifts. Remember that change begins one step at a time.