The environmental benefits of Smart Working
By Abodoo.com - leaders in driving SmartWorking and global change
If each of the estimated 260,000 companies in Ireland enabled one employee to work from home, our country could reduce its annual carbon emissions by 1.1 million metric tonnes. Isn’t that a good enough reason alone to get everyone SmartWorking?
When it comes to caring for the environment, Ireland is far from perfect. While Irish society is progressive in general, there’s no doubt we’re lagging behind with regards our efforts to reduce emissions. In particular the Climate Change Advisory Council recently said that Ireland is not even close to reaching its 2020 EU targets.
Emissions that were meant to be reduced by 1% have instead increased by 3.6%, the equivalent of two million tonnes. This is a huge setback as carbon emission levels are now the same as they were in 2009.
To de-carbonise the economy by 2050, Ireland needs to produce 1 million fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, requiring a complete reversal of the current trend. So it’s interesting to note that SmartWorking could play a role in helping the country to achieve that goal.
The most obvious environmental benefit to smart working is the reduced number of cars on the roads and therefore reduced carbon emissions. The average commuter creates CO2 emissions of 4.2 metric tonnes per year. By working from home or working locally in co-working hubs, emission levels can be radically reduced.
Driving contributes the vast majority of air pollution into our environment. Workers engaging with SmartWorking don’t contribute nearly as much air pollution to the atmosphere and working remotely significantly helps the environment.
In addition, commuting to and from an office every day limits people’s options and increases their everyday cost of living. People do not always have time to make a detour on the way to work to an environmentally friendly coffee shop to grab a drink in a compostable cup or go to a sandwich shop that features vegan options.
Centering life around a commute makes it near impossible for people to control how they will work and live sustainably. Most people generally have limited control over what food is available around their office but SmartWorking gives them complete freedom to decide how to reduce their carbon footprint.
Another way people can effectively reduce their carbon footprint is by reducing the amount of meat and dairy they consume. Producing meat uses thousands of gallons of water, wastes thousands of acres of land, and releases dangerous amounts of carbon emissions into the environment.
When SmartWorking, people can choose to be vegetarian or vegan more easily if they want. They’re able to decide exactly what they will eat without having to worry about finding a vegetarian friendly restaurant, eating non-vegetarian company lunches or packing a sustainable meal to bring to the office.
In addition, working at home or in a personal-choice environment also means that people are less prone to using single-use products. While commuting, people often get take-aways and stop by coffee shops on the way to work, mindlessly contributing a ton of waste to the environment.
If you’re running late but need your morning coffee, running to Starbucks for an iced drink in a plastic cup with a plastic straw is often an automatic response. But single-use products like plastic utensils, napkins, sauce packets and straws have devastating effects on the environment that can last for thousands of years.
The average plastic water bottle, for example, takes 450 years to decompose -- an item that is used for a few minutes creates hundreds of years of destruction. Working from home rather than an office, reduces the use of single-use products to consume food, thus supporting our environment.
So when it comes to environmental impact, SmartWorking ticks every box. It won’t solve every issue but people, industries, governments and sectors all have a part to play in order to improve global climate change.
To read more about how SmartWorking benefits lives and companies, visit Abodoo.com’s blog (blog.abodoo.com). If you’re looking for increased flexibility in your career and personal life, simply register on Abodoo.com to find your dream job today.
For more Benefits of SmartWorking: