Remote work, a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions

Our project Cartografia Carbono, in its 2020 edition, has given us very interesting information regarding the potential of remote work and commuting in general to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Encouraging the use of greener means of transport to work can have a significant impact, as people living between 1 and 5 km from the workplace have a carbon footprint of almost 0.2 tonnes CO2/year higher than those living less than 1 km away. If we look at the case of those living between 5 and 10 km away, the increase in their carbon footprint is more than 0.4 tonnes CO2/year.

These are averages, and each specific person has a different situation. However, if we assume that those living within 1 km walk to their office, we can take this as a reachable baseline level of emissions for those living between 1 and 5 or 1 and 10 km if they start commuting in a non-polluting way, such as walking, cycling, skateboarding or electric scooters.

By encouraging these means of transport, companies can have an impact of between 5% and 10% of the average spanish’s carbon footprint, which is not insignificant.

And what about those who live more than 20 km from work? It may seem far, but in the case of large cities it is not. In this case the emissions are in the order of 1 tonne CO2/year higher, 18% of the carbon footprint of the average Spaniard according to our study.

This is not always possible, but the adoption of remote work by companies can lead to a significant reduction in emissions for these people. In addition, emissions associated with commuting to work are covered by Scope 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which defines the methodology for calculating CO2 emissions applicable to companies.

If you want to know more about the carbon footprint of Spanish society, you can download the full report here.

To calculate and reduce your carbon footprint, you can download our app for iOS and Android.

If you are an enterprise and want to know more about your company and employees’ greenhouse gas emissions read here how we can help you.