Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Working from home to save climate?

Last week, the first National Distance Work Day took place in Finland, resulting in 50 000 kg save in CO2 emissions. Furthermore, over 10 000 participants saved 8 200 hours of travelling time. More time to spend with their families and doing whatever they enjoy and keeps them energetic at work! Besides being seen as giving more freedom to the employees and thus increasing motivation to work, distance work also saves time, money and is helping to achieve climate goals.

From the point of view of slowing down climate change, the biggest benefit of working from home is the reduced need to travel. For most people, travelling to work is the main source of their transport-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Some 15 % of Finnish labour force is weekly working from home with the help of information technology, but the amount could well be bigger. For many workplaces, more flexibility in where and when the work is done would not affect the results. In Finland, some 1.6 million commutes are made by car every day, resulting in congestion peaks in the morning and afternoon.

This week we're celebrating the annual European Mobility Week. The campaign aims at familiarizing citizens with the use of public transport, cycling, walking and encouraging cities to promote these sustainable modes of transport. Besides fighting atmospheric pollution and noise, it's also a question of improving the quality of urban life.

Many cities in most of the Baltic Sea Region countries are campaigning for sustainable urban mobility. See on the European Mobility Week website what is happening in your home town!

Picture: Valonia. Campaigning in Turku on the national distance work day - No need to worry about the dress code when you're working from home!

Kirsi-Marja Lonkila
This post was also published in the CHAMP project blog.

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