Cutting your commute could save the planet 214M tons of CO2: Regus


Words by

Multimedia Editor

A new economic study found that continued growth in flexible workspaces could save over 3.5 billion hours of commuting time every year across 16 countries by 2030. That translates not only to an immense productivity boost, but as much carbon dioxide (CO2) kept from the atmosphere as 5.5 billion trees can sequester over a decade.

The economic study, commissioned and published by global workplace provider Regus, estimated the growth of flexible workspace between now and 2030. The study looked at 16 countries around the world and predicted that a rise in flexible working in these countries would contribute over US$10 trillion to the global economy by 2030 — more than the current GDP of Japan and Germany combined.

The Regus study analyzed the socio-economic impact of flexible working in 16 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

In the United States alone, flexible work could save almost 960 million hours in commuting time. That’s equivalent to nearly an entire extra day of holiday for each working person in the US.

China sees the greatest potential gain in time saved, with as much as 1.4 billion commuting hours claimed back via flexible working. The study projected this could translate to a 193 percent jump in economic output in 2030 compared to 2017 — an overall boost of US$1.4 trillion.


“Simply changing the dominant culture of commuting to a central office for work could contribute towards climate change goals,” said Lars Wittig, country manager of Regus for the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.

“According to the UN Environment Program, the world needs to slash its annual greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 12 to 14 billion metric tons by 2030 to have a chance of limiting global warming,” he said. “By allowing workers to set up at a location closer to home, and cut down on commuting, millions of tonnes of carbon could be saved each year.”

“With an environment in crisis, offering flexible working isn’t just a business or personal imperative, but one that also benefits the planet,” he said.