scorecardBy commuting less, here’s how employees and companies contribute to global climate change and sustainability goals
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By commuting less, here’s how employees and companies contribute to global climate change and sustainability goals

By commuting less, here’s how employees and companies contribute to global climate change and sustainability goals
SustainabilitySustainability3 min read
  • A new survey reveals that 76% of the employees acknowledge that commuting less to the office is an important step towards climate change mitigation.
  • At the start of the pandemic in 2020, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell by as much as a quarter when people stayed at home.
  • 69% of the business leaders agree that helping their staff cut down daily travel has helped them meet the sustainability goals of their companies
In India, most office-goers spend more than two hours on average every single day commuting to the office—more than most other countries in the world. While this daily commute adds to the daily stress of the working population globally, it also adds substantial amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, this scenario is slowly changing!

A new survey has revealed that employees worldwide are cutting down their commute to the office and are adopting more sustainable working practices. A recent report by the International Workplace Group (IWG) suggests that over 76% of employees worldwide acknowledge that commuting less is an important step that can help combat the climate crisis. While the corporate world abruptly shifted to this hybrid model in 2020, most business leaders now agree that it's here to stay even after the pandemic ends.
How does the hybrid work model contribute to the environment?
The hybrid work model — a combination of work from home and office — helps employees save commute time while also reducing carbon emissions. The latest IPCC report warned that resistance to change was one of the greatest barriers to tackling the climate crisis. The United Nations also highlights that hybrid working addresses six of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“At the start of the pandemic in 2020, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell by as much as a quarter when people stayed at home. Today’s data confirms three-quarters of office workers believe commuting less would majorly contribute to cutting the climate crisis, while two-thirds say it makes work life more sustainable,” says the IWG report.

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tonnes, their highest level ever, as the world economy rebounded strongly from the pandemic and relied heavily on coal to power that growth, according to a new IEA analysis.

At 69%, a majority of business leaders also agree that helping their staff cut down their daily commute has helped them meet the sustainability goals of their companies. Moreover, 77% of them believed that the hybrid work model had a positive impact in terms of carbon footprint.
Switching to a hybrid model has other co-benefits as well
The report further suggests that 49% of the employees fear that their employers may not consider environmental factors and may want them to commute to the office. But the rising inflation and fuel cost globally could also be a major reason behind choosing the hybrid work model for the long-term.

Almost half of the office workers (44%) say financial savings are a reason they commute less, and 48% say it means they can do their bit for the environment, according to the report.

“Even at a time of almost unprecedented increases in the cost of living and conducting business, this research shows both business leaders and employees are equally united in their concern for the environment,” said IWG CEO Mark Dixon.

On average, Indians spend 7% of their day commuting to the office, averaging less than 3 minutes per kilometre, says another report by office commute platform MoveInSync. Since the pandemic, a majority of Indian office-goers are also reluctant to return to the office. In fact, a recent survey revealed that at least six out of ten employees would prefer to quit the job rather than come back to the office. So, like it or not, a change has come, and hopefully, it will sustain and contribute to a greener tomorrow.

SEE ALSO:
Education for all: Here’s how Mohalla classes strive for continued learning of children from marginalised communities
Nearly all affluent Indians prefer to buy socially and ecologically sustainable products, claims the AmEx report

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