US telecommuting cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 3.6 million tons a year

Ahead of Earth Day this Saturday, FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics have released new data on the environmental impact of the existing flexible workforce of ‘telecommuters’ in the US. Assuming they work from home around half of the time (2.5 days out of a 5 day working week), these flexible workers cut the distance travelled in cars by around 7.8 billion miles a year and the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by 3.6 million tons per year, according to the report. The study claims that the environmental impact of telecommuting is seen in a number of ways because commuting contributes greatly to driving, the second largest source of US greenhouse gas emissions, while company offices are a part of the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the US.

Annual Environmental Impact
Vehicle Miles Not Travelled (VMnT): 7.8 billion
Vehicle Trips Avoided: 529.8 million
Greenhouse Gases Savings: Gas Method (metric tons/year): 3.6 million
GhG Savings: EPA Gas/VMT Method (tonnes/yr): 3.4 million
Total Air Quality Savings (lbs. per year): 83 million

Carbon Savings Equivalents
Tanker Trucks of Gasoline: 46,658
Homes Powered by Electricity for a Year: 538,361
Tree Seedlings Needed to Offset (grown over 10 years): 91.9 million
Value of Oil Saved ($): $2 billion

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