Flexi-working to reduce 1,81,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in India every year by 2029

Sangeetha Chengappa | | Updated on: Jan 31, 2020

Flexible working is emerging as the new, unlikely weapon in the fight against climate change. As the growth of flexi-working explodes in areas outside of major cities, new research reveals that, by 2029, ‘outer city’ office spaces will reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 12,80,000 transatlantic flights between London and New York each year. That’s 25,60,000 tonnes of carbon stopped from entering the atmosphere annually, just by working nearer to home.

For India, the carbon-saving will see a reduction of 1,81,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. Cities like Delhi where pollution routinely reaches hazardous levels, will witness a significant impact on air quality.

The Suburban Economic Study, commissioned by Regus, a flexible workspace provider, and conducted by independent economists, projected the environmental benefits of locating flexible workspaces in smaller towns, cities and suburban areas between now and 2029. The benefits include decrease in fossil fuel consumption, carbon emissions and other pollutants.

Work close to home

By allowing people to work closer to home, a local office space will save workers an average of 9,532 hours per year in reduced commuting times, equating to a reduction of 54 tonnes of carbon emissions per centre per year. The report also revealed that those moving from flexible working at home to a co-working space will be doing their bit for the environment. Because it’s likely to be more energy-efficient to ventilate and light a shared space than a home for one, solitary worker.

“Commuting can be uncomfortable, unfriendly, and incredibly time-consuming. It is also a huge source of global pollution. Over the next decade, we expect to open many more locations in smaller towns, cities and suburban areas. Our vision is that soon there will be a professional workspace available on every corner; ending the idea of commuting for good. This will benefit our personal health, as well as that of our planet” said Mark Dixon, CEO for Regus’ parent company IWG.

Business benefits

The rise in local working is largely driven by big companies adopting flexible working policies; moving away from relying on a central headquarters and basing employees outside of the major metropolitan hubs in flex spaces. The study also revealed the economic benefits of these suburban spaces and found the ‘flex economy’ could contribute over $14,663 million per annum to local economies in India by 2029. And an average flexible workspace will generate $3.44 million GVA (gross value added) each year, of which $1.40 million will go directly into the local economy.

The Regus study analysed the socio-economic impact of flexible working in 19 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

Published on January 31, 2020
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