I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to improve their climate literacy so as to understand the projected impacts from the expanding climate crisis and how to adapt their workplaces in the face of these impacts.

If you have been following me for any amount of time you will know that I have repeatedly spoken about the impact remote working can have on emissions. (For example see these comments in 2018 and this from 2019)

Yesterday the IPCC released their Climate Change 2022 — Mitigation of Climate Change report in it “teleworking” is mentioned for the first time as a mitigation strategy. The term appears 24 times in the report.

IPCC April 2022

The summary states:

Changes in urban form (e.g., density, land use mix, connectivity, and accessibility) in combination with programmes that encourage changes in consumer behaviour (e.g., transport pricing) could reduce transport related greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries and slow growth in emissions in developing countries (high confidence). Investments in public inter- and intra-city transport and active transport infrastructure (e.g., bike and pedestrian pathways) can further support the shift to less GHG-intensive transport modes (high confidence). Combinations of systemic changes including, teleworking, digitalisation, dematerialisation, supply chain management, and smart and shared mobility may reduce demand for passenger and freight services across land, air, and sea (high confidence). Some of these changes could lead to induced demand for transport and energy services, which may decrease their GHG emissions reduction potential (medium confidence).

The truth is as we move deeper into this crisis the pressure to decouple from any fossil fuel touch points is going to grow exponentially. Commutes to offices using fossil fuel driven transport are one of those touch points. Smart leadership teams will use the opportunity handed to them by the pandemic, to end daily commutes. Doing so is smart business, because soon, legislation will force that anyway. You can easily get ahead of this.

Now is the time to close all remote work knowledge gaps that have developed.