Climate change may have been pushed out of the headlines by COVID over the last two years, but with the worst of the pandemic hopefully behind us, we all urgently need refocus on the critical issue of our time.
The fact remains is that, despite measurable and significant progress in many areas – we still have a long way to go in reducing our fossil fuel use to acceptable levels. According to a Dutch environmental assessment agency, to get to net zero carbon by 2050, the world will have to reduce emissions by 57 gigatons. (For perspective: one gigaton is the emissions equivalent of 250 million passenger cars in a year.)
Now, it’s easy for an organization to make ambitious claims about sustainability goals, often by publicly promising fossil-fuel reduction numbers that either may not be meaningful or that are soon forgotten.
But the good news is that companies don’t need to do a lot to make a substantial difference, and the new hybrid-working model many have embraced post-pandemic can help make significant progress towards sustainability goals.
Here are some things we at Condeco are doing right now:
- We’re reducing our office footprint: for example, our New York office will soon only have seats for less than one third of our local employees at any given time.
- We’re not requiring workers to commute to the office
- We’re moving more of our operations to the cloud
We’re working to ensure that enterprises in our larger ecosystem share our commitment. Among other things, Condeco is a Microsoft Gold partner, meaning we align with that company’s commitment to designing products with sustainability in mind. (Microsoft has pledged to be carbon-negative by 2030.)
We’ve also appointed our Head of Global Communications, Alison Dahlman, to be our new Ambassador for the Sustainability Initiative – she’ll be working to drive our sustainability initiatives going forward.
We’re putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to reducing waste and emissions, and are proud to be helping our customers on their journey to sustainability.
How the Hybrid Model Is Helping Us Get There
The now-common hybrid work model is playing a key role in these efforts. Fewer people commuting to work every day means fewer miles driven, less idling, and, critically, a smaller office.
If these seem like relatively small changes, they are making a big dent in the collective carbon footprint.
Recent research from Global Workplace Analytics shows that a workforce operating at home 50% of the time means a company can cut its office space by 25%. Some companies Condeco works with report that closing unneeded office space amounts to annual reductions of more than 330 tons of carbon emissions.
Is that a lot? For perspective, according to the EPA a single ton of CO2 emissions is the equivalent of 2,482 passenger miles driven. (So, yes, it is a meaningful amount.)
Hybrid work is already helping us on our collective journey, and with good faith and consistent application it will make a big difference.
How We’re Getting There – and How You Can Too
Here’s what we at Condeco are doing, and what we’re encouraging our partners to do.
A smaller real estate footprint. As post-pandemic office needs have changed, we’re reducing our real estate footprint – while still growing our workforce. We use Condeco software to ensure there is office space for workers when needed, keeping our energy usage lower than before the pandemic. By one measure, if employees split their time 50/50 between the office and the home, it would be the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking the entire New York State workforce off the road.
Less commuting. One hundred employees working remotely two days a week for a full year can save an average of 154,000 vehicle miles, equivalent to 390 barrels of oil. Further, since employees are only occasionally visiting the office, we’re encouraging them to use public transport rather than driving – which further cuts unnecessary emissions.
Moving data from on-prem to cloud. Another not-always-recognized energy drain for companies is the amount of computing power used to process and store data on premises. When we at Condeco moved our solutions and data to Azure, and we found that our compute processes become up to 98% more carbon efficient. (It also helps make remote work much smoother.) Offloading as much of your data and compute work to a cloud provider should be a priority for any company that can do so.
Smarter office space. No one – including Condeco – can forego office space entirely, so it’s critical to use what we need as efficiently as possible. By embracing smart sensors, AI, and flexible scheduling, we’re build a flexible workplace that uses absolutely as little energy as possible and minimizes waste.
Smarter and More Sustainable
It should go without saying that reducing your carbon footprint also saves your company money. The Global Workplace Analytics study showed working at home 50% of the time – with all its carbon-saving benefits – saves companies up to $1.9 million per 1,000 employees, per year.
Finding the balance between at-home and at-office is critical both to meeting sustainability goals and business goals. The trick is ensuring there is enough desk and space available to accommodate your entire workforce working in this new, hybrid model.
The path to Net Zero emissions won’t be easy, but the need is more urgent than ever. If you are looking for a more sustainable way to work, talk to Condeco about how to make the hybrid work model more effective for you.
Note: Readers can expect to see more about Condeco’s sustainability efforts throughout the year.
Written By Paul Statham, CEO & Founder