From Workplace to Anyplace

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The Official Blog of Microsoft's
Environmental Sustainability Team

From Workplace to Anyplace

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I just posted a new blog entry over at Nortel’s newly launched Greenroots blog. The blog entry is titled From Workplace to Anyplace which provides highlights on the WWF study that was recently published. Here are some of the big findings:

  • Increasing virtual meetings and telecommuting today could, without any dramatic measures, help to save more than 3 billion tons of CO2 emissions in a few decades; this is equivalent to approximately half of the current US CO2 emissions. Under the report's "smart world" scenario, where policies and IT industry users collaborate to encourage wide use of telework and unified communications software, roughly one billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions are avoided through telework in year 2030-an amount equivalent to the total current annual carbon dioxide emissions from the United Kingdom and Italy combined. By the year 2050, telework could reduce almost 3.5 billion tons of emissions-equivalent to more than half of the United States' current CO2 emissions.

  • Over the long term, these solutions will deliver even more emissions reductions in developing countries that developed economies. Teleworking could achieve over 1.3 billion tons of reductions in developing countries between 2030 and 2050 (421 MtCO2 in China alone) compared to 876 MtCO2 in OECD countries for the same time period.

  • The key barriers to wider adoption of teleworking are cultural and organizational, not technical. The report notes, that "A webcam-equipped laptop and mobile and wireless connectivity, as well as effective and secure software, are the key technical requirements for teleworking. These solutions already exist, and the sooner a broad deployment can take place the faster significant reductions can be achieved. A critical factor to support broad deployment is organizational buy-in for teleworking."

  • While there have been some questions about whether telecommuting workers end up replacing their commute miles with errands and other driving trips, the report finds that "the prevalent consensus in the literature is that overall telecommuting reduces the distance traveled and the GHG emissions that result from transportation."

I encourage you to read the full article here and provide some thoughts/feedback.

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