Going green is a topic that is now receiving a lot of attention. Many workers nowadays are looking for solutions to contribute to the environment. And most of us are now running our businesses straight from home – at least partially. But is it a way to reduce negative environmental impact and establish a more sustainable way?

Why is it important to reduce carbon footprint?

It’s not a secret that climate change is a major environmental challenge that the world faces today. The greenhouse effect happens when gases in the Earth’s atmosphere capture the heat of the Sun. As a result, the Earth is substantially warmer than it would be. These greenhouse gas emissions are mostly emitted by the burning of fossil fuels and agricultural, industrial, or waste management systems. It leads to a need of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why Green IT is so important for the environment right now

There are various ways to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. Small changes can count up whether at home, at work, in school, or while traveling.

Impact of the pandemic on remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to change everyday routines, habits, and rituals. Reorganizing the whole office, along with its structures, was a challenge. Since the beginning of the pandemic, work from home has become the new normal. We have also widely described an impact on how it changed the outsourcing services in the report

Nowadays, companies worldwide are seeing an increase in the number of people working remotely, encouraging them to review their offices’ carbon footprint and the environmental impact of working from home. 

Remote work stands not only for the benefits associated with the involvement of employees, their lower rotation, but also great potential for business development. It’s an opportunity to redefine what cooperation between a company and an employee is. How your team works depends more on them, and how you present them with priorities and goals can help them find the best solutions.

Radosław Bułat

CIO

Environmental benefits of work from home

When people discuss the advantages of working from home, environmental benefits are often not at the top of their list. However, going green is a topic that is now being researched extensively. In offices where car commuting is the norm, studies revealed that a reduction in commute is the most reliable way to reduce carbon – even after factoring in the potential for increased energy use in work from home environment. 

Taking a more environmentally responsible strategy can also provide several organizational benefits, ranging from cost savings to a significant competitive edge. Consider how sustainability actions can help your company grow.

Said this, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions has a variety of effects on our environment:

  • Improved air quality. According to the Paris Agreement, air quality is expected to worsen. But work from home eliminates the need to commute. This not only reduces downtime and improves working time during the day, but it’s also an example of one of the remote work’s environmental benefits. In terms of air pollution, driving a car is one of the worst activities for the average person to do (aside from air travel).
  • Reduced paper and plastic usage. Companies have reduced their use of paper as a result of digitizing papers for remote workers. Employers can dramatically reduce the amount of paper used each year by eliminating the need for printed documents. As a remote worker, you may also help by reducing the amount of plastic you use in the workplace.
  • Power consumption efficiency. Recent research shows that the impact of remote working on energy usage is dubious. But as stated by the World Economic Forum, home-working cuts energy consumption when a broader range of factors are taken into accounts, such as reduced travel to work and office energy usage. For organizations to get the greatest benefits, home-working should be more common.
  • Saved office space. By choosing to work remotely, every person at home is one person less at the office (as mentioned earlier, it already contributes significantly to reduced carbon footprint). But it also gives an additional space that can be conserved or that leads to decreased accommodation costs. You may even close it down.
  • Positive impact on climate change and carbon footprint reduction! Most importantly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the most important step toward a cleaner and greener world. All actions lead to overall slowed climate change. When everybody is concerned about the planet, it strengthens brand value by investing in a better future.

Ways to reduce carbon emissions in the workplace

While working remotely saves energy usage and carbon emissions, without a doubt induced emissions from the energy spent at home will still exist. You can also contribute to reducing emissions at the workplace, and there are various ways you can take to do it. The more angles you take, the more effective your actions will be.

1. Cut consumption 

Just reducing the supplies used by you or your business during everyday operations can have an impact on the reduction. Consider all of the components required and see how many of them are available in eco-friendly variants.

2. Avoid printing

As mentioned, one of the environmentally friendly ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is going digital. Paper means a waste of resources. If you have to consume it, use an all-in-one device instead of separate ones (so with functions to print, copy, and scan).

3. Use energy-efficient alternatives

There are many solutions to transition away from fossil fuels and coal as primary sources of energy. Invest in renewable energy and clean fuel innovations as it is better for the environment. At your company, minimize the data centers energy usage.

4. Public transport or bicycle

This topic was already covered. You can change the way you commute to and from work by choosing to walk or bicycle. Public transportation is also a good option to reduce the generated by vehicle’s CO2 emissions.

5. Choose a laptop over a desktop

Laptops are more energy-efficient than desktop computers. Set it to a power-saving mode if inactivity happens so you don’t have to worry about energy consumption during meetings. Also, turn it off at the end of the work or day.

6. Reduce waste and recycle

Keep reuse and recycling in mind while thinking about waste reduction. Every business generates waste. It is critical to develop good habits and recycle. Set a waste sorting plan and when possible, purchase recycled products.

7. Carbon offsetting

Consider carbon offsetting and donate to tree-planting organizations. The funds used to purchase these offsets are often used for forest preservation or landfill methane capture

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The future of Green IT

Environmental responsibility comes in many shapes and sizes. It can be prominent and very noticeable at times. What’s important, remote work provides incredible flexibility. With more time, employees are in a great position to have a better impact on the environment. There are more ways to invest in Green IT that are becoming a standard, such as determining the amount of carbon you generate on the web. Explore the topic further with our article on your website’s carbon emissions.