The shift to remote work in 2020 resulted in one of the biggest drops in carbon emissions on record. The peak of the pandemic saw CO2 emissions drop by 6.4% (or 2.3 billion tons). The U.S. saw the biggest drop in emissions, almost 650 million tons, which was more than one quarter of the world’s reduction of CO2 emissions. While these numbers are impressive, research shows that we will have a strong rebound post-COVID.
The following are a few easy steps to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint, sourced from our latest white paper on Remote Work, Tech Habits, and the Environment.
- Know Your Carbon Footprint
A great start to making meaningful and effective change is benchmarking your organization’s current carbon footprint. Like with any other goal, being able to see change on the way to the finish line is motivating. However, measuring an entire company’s carbon footprint sounds like a daunting task, especially if the company is global. Fortunately, companies like Watershed facilitate this process by providing detailed analysis on your company’s emissions using data from tools that you already use. Once measured and analyzed, they can also benchmark your company against your industry and provide a carbon reduction plan.
- Switching Your Search Engine
Being proactive in offsetting your company/organization’s carbon footprint can be as easy as switching your search engine. Companies like Ecosia, for example, use the profits they would receive from search ads to plant trees globally. With over 130 million trees planted in over 9,000 planting sites, their mission is ongoing and completely free for users.
- Reduce Your Emails
How does any email have a negative impact on the environment? That is a great question, and the answer may surprise you. The energy used (computer, internet, lights, etc.) when writing the average email isn’t the only energy that the email consumes. Behind every message sent is an infrastructure that stores and transmits information through data centers, which require their own energy. Recent studies show that these data centers contribute to 0.3% of all CO2 emissions. According to Lancaster University professor Mike Berners-Lee, the average email generates 4g of CO2 emissions; this accounts for both data centers and the energy computers use to send, filter, and read messages. Longer emails with attachments can generate as much as 50g of CO2.
To get a better idea of how remote work and our new tech habits can impact carbon emissions, download our newest white paper. In it you’ll find more carbon reducing best practices for remote work, a case study that explores the benefits of Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI), and examples of how using multilingual meeting platforms like KUDO reduces your carbon footprint substantially.
Sources: Forbes.com, WashingtonPost.com, Watershed Climate.com
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