Monday, May 28, 2007

Homeworking isn't environmentally friendly

At least that's what the Sunday Telegraph suggests in a piece called 'Go green: work at the office not at home'. Commenting on a new report from WSP Environmental, the paper says that: "the growing numbers who avoid daily commuting could actually be contributing to global warming. They typically produce almost a third more carbon dioxide in a year than staff based in offices." Yes, there's no commuting, but homeworkers use more heating and power during winter which outweighs benefits. So a fulltime homeworker produces 2.38 tons of carbon dioxide, compared to a 'normal' office worker at 1.68. One riposte comes from Greenman at his blog who points out that: "a quick scan of the Internet reveals that according to the page about them on the EU Commission's Managenergy website WSP is 'one of the largest consultants providing management and design expertise in the property sector throughout the world. Its expertise range from the world's tallest buildings and corporate headquarters to hospitals, urban regeneration and leisure. WSP provides expert advice on a wide range of transport related engineering projects, including roads, rail, bridges, tunnels and utility services. Its extensive experience including planning, analysing, designing and managing projects for a wide of range of service providers."


  1. What about energy saved on not drycleaning clothes for the office? Did they take that into account? Not to mention other energy savings from not ironing clothes (in my case).

    Also, what about the benefits from cooking up big meals for the family, vs dashing into Sainsburys for convenience food? Also, home workers tend to hang onto computers longer and don't send them to PC Heaven after a year or two.

    I think we should put the record straight.

    ps - I am a champion of home working and write about it at http://www/

  2. Motheratlarge, I'm very much with you on this one. And of course if you work in a garden office, you're not heating the whole house up anyway.