Study proves home office is good for the environment

Germany - Phone- and video-conferencing instead of daily drives to the office: more people working from home reduces  greenhouse gases by a lot, according to a Greenpeace study.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people have been working from home since this spring (stock image).
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people have been working from home since this spring (stock image).  © Sebastian Gollnow/dpa

CO2 emissions from transportation could be reduced by 6 million tons per year if two out of five employees worked from home two days a week, according to a study by the Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) commissioned by the environmental protection organization.

By way of comparison, the entire transportation sector in Germany produced 182 million tons of CO2 last year.

"The coronavirus months have shown that many tasks can easily be carried out from home", Greenpeace spokesman Benjamin Stephan explained. "The federal government and companies should now consistently promote working from home, because telework protects the climate, reduces traffic and gives employees time and flexibility".

This spring, many more people than usual worked from home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The study is only looked at daily commuting, not with the additional greenhouse gases produced by business trips. It is based on the 2017 Mobility in Germany dataset published by the Federal Ministry of Transport.

To achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement, small steps are necessary too, according to the study - expanding teleworking would be one of them.

However, it can only be part of the solution, as it is mainly aimed at highly skilled and well-paid employees.

Cover photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa

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