How to reduce your environmental impact by remote work

Future of work
November 23, 2022
Published by

The advantages of remote work include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, if all employees teleworked from home, CO² emissions would be drastically reduced thanks to the journeys avoided to the company's workplace.

Let's take a look at how you can limit your carbon footprint even further with the best ways to reduce your impact on the environment at remote work.

The measures recommended by the Ademe concerning digital technology

Ademe (l'Agence De l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Énergie) is a French government agency promoting sustainable development. To limit the carbon footprint of digital technologies, and therefore the environmental impact of remote work, Ademe has recommended 10 measures to be taken as soon as possible.

Save your favorite web addresses for easy access

One way to make remote work more sustainable is to save your favorite web addresses for easy access. This way, you won't have to search for the websites you need every time you want to use them, which will reduce your energy consumption.

Limit the proliferation of open tabs in your browser

One of the measures submitted by Ademe is to limit the proliferation of open tabs in your Internet browser. When you have a lot of tabs open, your computer has to work harder and thus consumes more energy.

In addition, each open tab represents a potential connection to a server, which consumes even more resources. So by limiting the number of open tabs, you can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Be sober when exchanging emails

As part of its best practices to reduce the carbon footprint of digital technology, Ademe recommends being economical in email exchanges.

This means sending emails only when necessary, and restricting the number of recipients when possible. In addition, it is also advisable to reduce the size and number of attachments.

Clean up your mailbox

Another simple measure recommended by the Ademe is to clean up your mailbox. This means regularly deleting old and unnecessary emails from your inbox. By doing this, you can help reduce the amount of energy and resources that are spent to store and process these mails.

Limit the weight of the video conference

The Ademe also assures that it is important to measure the weight of the videoconference. When we organize a videoconference, we transport people from all over the world to the same place. This consumes a lot of data and creates greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

By limiting the burden of video conferencing, we can reduce our carbon footprint and do our part to protect the environment. For example, companies can set a maximum number of participants for each videoconference or encourage employees to use audio conferencing whenever possible.

By taking such steps, the company - with the help of its employees at remote work- can help reduce the environmental impact of digital technology.

Think about reducing your data in the cloud

Many desktop applications now allow users to store their files in the cloud, which means they are stored on remote servers rather than on your local hard drive. While this can be convenient, it also consumes a lot of resources.

If you're not careful, you can quickly create a significant carbon footprint simply by storing data remotely.

Avoid streaming video

Another measure recommended by Ademe is toavoid streaming video. Indeed, when you stream a video, you use a large amount of bandwidth, which does not improve your carbon footprint.

If you have the option to download videos instead of streaming them, or if you can watch them offline, you will help reduce your carbon footprint.

Use Wifi instead of 4G

Whenever possible, use Wi-Fi rather than 4G. Indeed, 4G has a higher energy consumption than Wi-Fi and its carbon emissions are then higher.

Keep in mind that you can often find free Wi-Fi in public places like libraries, coffee shops and restaurants. If you need to connect to the Internet while you're on the go, take advantage of these places instead of using your mobile plan.

Beware of automatic data transfers

One way to reduce your carbon footprint when using digital technology is to be aware of automatic data transfers.

Many applications automatically update in the background without you even knowing it. This can consume a lot of resources and increase your carbon footprint.

Choose radio over streaming audio

Finally, Ademe recommends that remote work users prefer radio to streaming audio, to reduce their impact on the environment.

Radio consumes fewer resources than streaming audio, and therefore has a lower environmental impact.

Beware of the rebound effect!

It is important to be aware of the rebound effect when trying to reduce your carbon footprint through digital technology.

The rebound effect occurs when savings in one area are offset by increased consumption in another. For example, if you reduce your commute to work, you may be tempted touse your car more frequently outside of work.

To avoid the rebound effect, it is important to be aware of your overall carbon footprint and make changes in all areas of your life to reduce it.

In conclusion, there are many ways in which you can reduce your impact on the environment when you visit remote work. By considering the measures we've just outlined, you can help reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit to protect our planet.