Giving Compass' Take:
- Grace Lau explains how working remotely and not commuting positively impacts the environment by lowering emissions.
- What can donors do to encourage businesses to shift to remote work? How can donors ensure that there is equity in who is able to work remotely?
- Learn about inequitable access to remote work options.
What is Giving Compass?
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External factors may have spurred the rise in remote working, but it’s having a number of positive effects. Businesses are seeing reduced costs while teams are embracing digital solutions that allow them to record online meetings.
But there’s another vital impact: the environment.
Human activity has always had an impact on the environment. Around the time of the industrial revolution though, that impact increased dramatically. Suddenly, human activity was having wide ranging effects on the global environment.
What it predominantly came down to was the gas emissions released through the burning of fossil fuels.
Fast forward to the wide adoption of the combustion engine for transportation and the increase in emissions was exponential.
Today, even after the rise of remote working, 76% of U.S. workers use their car to commute. That accounts for a large amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.
But commuting isn’t the only problem.
Other aspects of work lead to negative environmental impacts too, including energy consumption, paper use, and plastic waste.
This is where remote working is already proving effective at reducing this impact.
Spurred on by the pandemic, businesses have had to come to grips with a new work environment. Leaders have adapted to managing remote teams while employees have learned how web conferencing works.
But one of the greatest knock-on effects has been on our natural environment.
Quick science lesson: when greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide or methane build up in the atmosphere, they trap the sun’s heat radiation. Known as the “greenhouse effect”, this is the driving force behind climate change.
Transportation accounts for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions. Besides your personal car, trucks, ships, and planes all contribute to these emissions.
An increase in the number of work from home jobs has resulted in a reduction in commuter traffic which has helped to substantially reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Read the full article about remote work by Grace Lau at Causeartist.