Remote working and Decarbonization: Our employees speak out


Posted on: Sep 15, 2020 by Ross Sedgewick

Decarbonization. It seems like a relatively new term, but in fact, it has been around for at least five years. The general idea is reducing or eliminating our carbon emissions, for the benefit of the environment and ultimately the health of our planet.

Remote working has long been a good way to reduce carbon emissions, not to mention reducing urban congestion, commuting related negative impacts, and the occupation of green space by large office buildings. We went to our own employee experts, most of whom work remotely or from home at least part of the time, to give us their thoughts and observations on decarbonization:

“Remote working enables us a much more flexible approach and possible change in the way work is organized. From an environmental point of view, remote working can help to cut a significant amount CO2 emission for each person working from home. We furthermore develop products with low energy consumptions in mind while keeping an eye on sustainability, resource-sparing use of raw materials to minimize the carbon footprint.” – Michael Brust

“Remote working pushes the need for more services in the cloud, reducing the need to run dedicated on-premise hardware. This is only one simple example of how the ecological footprint of a company can be reduced.” -- Christina Papadimitriou

“Decarbonization entails a better future for humanity. It should insist on a worldwide collective initiative and all members should contribute towards high priority targets. Remote working reduces carbon emission due to less commuting or business trips. However, working co-located contributes significantly to progress technologically since communication is better utilized when working together. If this is weeded out from daily work life it could hinder some technological advances that help more towards decarbonization's target.” -- Vas Giatilis

“As remote working reduces the necessity to travel or commute, it has a great impact in the process of decarbonization.”  – Arne Belter

“My understanding about decarbonization is that it involves all efforts to minimize (and even eliminate) the carbon footprint of individuals' or organizations' activities. Remote working significantly contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of employees and the organizations they work for. Most of the modern means of daily commute (cars, buses) consume oil-based fuel, and using them less, as a result of remote working, will significantly affect the cumulative carbon emissions. Moreover, desk sharing schemes in workplaces as a teleworking tool will allow better utilization of large buildings (which in general consume energy for heating and lighting purposes). Finally, further usage of remote working will boost remote collaboration in general which in turn will reduce flight travel for business purposes if not truly necessary.” – Lampros Pappas

“Less energy usage, less office waste, reduced fuel usage, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of climate change are on everybody’s minds with societies and world leaders trying to come up with sustainable solutions. Remote working could help greatly reduce climate change and help our environment. While there are many benefits of remote working for employers, some are not convinced. However, studies show that even just a day or two where employees work from home can help create a greener environment. By 2025, almost 75% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials and Generation Z. Both groups prefer flexible working patterns and are conscious about saving the planet. Employers who are willing to have remote working or flexible working patterns as an option will be able to attract top talent from this generation of eco-friendly workers.” – Vasiliki Eleni Provopoulou

“Well, I do not burn gas or fuel when I need to go to the home office.” -- Stephen Hofmann

“Saving on the commute, with less staff expenditure, less carbon emissions, and less corporate expense.” – Tony Rich

“I know that Atos has done an excellent job so far regarding decarbonization - and I feel we could promote that even more through our Social Media (so we can let the world know as well). I think remote working will have an impact (in the long term) in the process of decarbonization - for example: less cars, less gas, less environmental impact.” – Maria-Christina Hassiotis

“Remote working means you don't use the car which has benefits as not emitting from your car, but also for not allowing traffic jams which are very pollutive. Less hours on the road means less carbon in the world.” -- Konstantinos Brokalakis

“There are many benefits around increasing productivity, reducing business costs, reduce fuel usage, less office waste.” -- Heiko Behrendt

“I believe that remote working significantly lowers the carbon footprint of every individual by significantly decreased need for commuting (less cars, less frequent public transportation), increase in eCommerce as remote workers tend to make on-line orders,  decrease in resources consumed at company premises (lifts, hot-water, lights, etc.). Some of those resources are provided at home from alternative sources of energy such as solar and wind power.” -- Minas Botsis

The consensus – as expected – is clearly that remote and home-based working are seen as a key contributor to decarbonization, and a work lifestyle that can both improve employee satisfaction while still achieving the goals and objectives of the organization. Today’s cloud-based team collaboration tools have a lot to do with enabling that.

Some interesting observations indeed – thanks to all our employees that offered their thoughts for this blog!

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About Ross Sedgewick

Digital Workplace and Team Collaboration Expert
Ross joined Unify in 2002 and has fulfilled several expert marketing roles in technologies for the digital workplace, team collaboration / customer contact solutions, and virtual team engagement. He currently handles content creation, messaging and insight development relating to the digital workplace. Ross is passionate about humanizing the intersection of people and technology, and understanding how users engage and interact. Prior to joining Unify, Ross has held marketing, product, channel and sales leadership positions at IBM Corporation, Delano Technologies, and Siemens Enterprise Communications.