Telecommuting and the Environment
One point which environmentalists have cited in advocation towards telecommuting is the benefits it could have in easing traffic congestion and hence reduce air pollution. Although this point has not been greatly evidenced, a June 2008 report by The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) has studied the positive externalities that telecommuting could have in fighting Climate Change.
Environmentalists have been advocates of telecommuting as the new way to work because of the belief that Telecommuting has an inclination to reduce pressures on the environment. It is reasoned that telecommuting would minimize traffic congestion and also reduce the amount of fuel consumption attributed to travelling.
In a June 2008 report that is conducted by The Climate group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI), the Telecommuting concept has been probed into for its potential as yet another means to save the Earth. In the research, US and UK, two leader countries in the world, have been selected for case study.
In US, the percentage of Americans who telecommute in 2005 stood at 1-2%. The report analysed that suppose 3 million Americans chose to telework, there would be reductions in road usage that translate to a drop in fossil fuel consumption, thereby constituting a consequent carbon gas reductions of 75-100 MtCO2e in 2030.
However, the report also highlighted that the impact of telecommuting would vary according to the number of days each teleworker spends on telecommuting. In UK, although the UK Department of Transport study states that telecommuting by its citizens has resulted in the decline of 48-77% of travelling by car, the report explains that the figures might not necessarily bring about a genuine fall in the amount of carbon gas emitted if each citizen only teleworked less than three days in a week, while the other days are spent in the office. This is in contrast to another point of argument by the US Environment Protection Agency, which reasons that if an additional ten percent of the population would telework just one day a week, then the country would save
at least 1.2 million gallons of fuel a week.
Telecommuting was concluded as having the potential to save on the Earth's resources, but the extent to which it is effective would depend largely on its adoption in each country. Even though the impacts at the moment might not be as significant as other measures, telecommuting remains a plausible concept to be further explored and leveraged on to mitigate Climate Change.