It makes sense that working from home would be good for the environment. People are commuting to the office less and less and not contributing to everyday emissions that can occur when going to and from the workplace.
In fact, the average commuting time in the UK is 1 hour and 38 minutes, amounting to around 180 grams of Co2 per kilometer. In America, this statistic is even worse, where commutes amount to 650 grams of Co2 per kilometer.
According to research from Spain’s Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, working from home may have had a significant impact on their air quality.
The study specifically shows that remote working four day each week could decrease the amount of nitrogen dioxide, which is the main pollutant caused by traffic emissions, by 10%.
Similarly, a study from Assembly and Huawei showed that access to reliable broadband could decrease the UK’s annual commuting distance by 2%.
“Annual net carbon savings from increased remote working (attributable to faster broadband) are estimated to be 0.24 million tonnes by 2024,” the authors stated. “Adding to that the carbon savings from the changes in business travel and server emissions, the total net carbon savings from faster broadband could be 1.6m tonnes of carbon each year by 2024.”
However, tools used for remote working, such as video conferencing, can increase energy usage. Still, researchers say that these resources generate just 0.6% of the carbon emissions created by commuting.