An increase in flexible working will reduce levels of carbon dioxide by 214 million tonnes per year by 2030 globally, according to a new study by Regus.
The economic study, carried out by independent researchers, found that if the growth in flexible workspace continues to increase, people around the world would save over 3.53 billion hours commuting every year by 2030. The amount of carbon dioxide saved by this reduction is equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 5.5 billion trees over ten years.
Hong Kong is set to save 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030, based on commuters saving 5 million hours from a turn to flexible working. Meanwhile, the nation which would see the largest annual carbon emission saving by 2030 is the United States. It is predicted to save nearly 960 million hours in commuting time, and with US commuters relying heavily on cars, this time saved translates to over 100 million tonnes of CO2.
The Regus economic study estimated the growth of flexible workspace between now and 2030. The study looked at 16 countries around the world, and predicted that a rise in flexible working in these countries would contribute over US$10 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
Nancy Yip, Area Director of IWG Hong Kong, says, “Simply changing the dominant culture of commuting to a central office for work could contribute towards climate change goals — according to the UN Environment Program, the world needs to slash its annual greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 12 billion-14 billion metric tons by 2030 to have a chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. By allowing workers to set up at a location closer to home, and cut down on commuting, millions of tonnes of carbon could be saved each year. With an environment in crisis, offering flexible working isn’t just a business or personal imperative, but one that also benefits the planet.”