How working from home can lower global emissions: Walter Tobé, Canon

Reading time: 6 minutes
4 July 2016

Walter Tobé, European Sustainability Manager from world-leading innovator and provider of imaging solutions Canon Europe, summarizes a recent report which looks at the environmental benefits of homeworking. This is part of The Climate Group’s Home2025 project.

In 2015 there were 1.3 billion mobile workers. By 2025, millennials – who are increasingly attracted to flexible and mobile employers – will account for 75% of the global workplace. Mobile and homeworking is clearly on the up.

While some companies may still be reluctant to adopt flexible working due to a range of cultural barriers, technical barriers such as unreliable internet and video conference software are fast receding.

Governments around the world are now looking to solutions that involve flexible work to help tackle issues such as congestion in cities, high office prices and elderly employment.

But beyond improving time productivity for employees, there are many environmental benefits associated with homeworking. Not only does it reduce travel distances and fuel consumed, it also avoids excess energy consumption in the office.

And through these benefits, homeworking can actually contribute to meeting global targets for emissions reductions and energy demand.

In the UK alone –  where the number of people working from home in the UK increased by 13% between 2007 and 2012 –  homeworking has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by over 3 million tonnes a year.

So it makes sense that companies are shifting their approach to focusing on improving business outcomes with additional environmental co-benefits. With technology  serving as the major driver in enabling the corporate shift toward flexible working.

INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY

From mobile and cloud-based printing and scanning solutions to cloud-based document management that is accessible from anywhere – home, office or on the road – Canon is helping facilitate flexible working by transforming workplace systems.

Our devices integrate with existing cloud-based document systems, making it easy to access information from anywhere and share work with colleagues in other locations.

Canon also provides energy efficient printing for the home, through product ranges such as MAXIFY and i-SENSYS which, when combined with powerful apps and when compatible with cloud-based software, enable easy mobile and home working to become a reality.

In the right conditions, mobile and home working together with the use of energy efficient technologies for digital working can make a huge contribution to global carbon reductions.

While the next 10 years will bring more evidence of climate change impacts, the home of 2025 will be both a driving force in climate mitigation as well as on the front lines of climate adaptation – encompassing smart technologies and solutions for domestic living and home working that is cheaper, cleaner and better for everyone.

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