‘Work from home to cut carbon and save £3bn’

Businesses were told today they could cut 3 million tonnes of carbon emissions and save £3 billion by “homeworking”. That doesn’t mean setting staff extra tasks for their own time […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Businesses were told today they could cut 3 million tonnes of carbon emissions and save £3 billion by “homeworking”.

That doesn’t mean setting staff extra tasks for their own time but getting them to work from the comfort of their own homes.

The Carbon Trust suggests widespread use of broadband internet, smartphones and the “cloud” (for storing digital documents remotely) could allow employees to change how they work.

It points to telecoms giant BT’s homeworking policy which apparently saved 14,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent over 12 months.

The change meant BT could reduce its office space and save £60m a year – roughly £6,000 per full-time homeworker.

Hugh Jones, Managing Director of Advisory at the Carbon Trust said: “Homeworking is on the rise, with numbers increasing by over half a million since 2007… in the right circumstances, it has the potential to be expanded significantly and be a win-win for business and the environment.”

But it’s not always a failsafe method as homes may be less efficient than modern or upgraded offices, something advisors call the “rebound effect”.