One of the old ways of thinking about business that’s still haunting us today is the question of how we should interact with the environment while operating a company. In the past, businesspeople saw this as a dilemma; we believed that we had to make a choice between making money or being kind to the planet.
Well, whether or not that was true before, we must understand that it’s certainly not true now. And the reason is simple: now, it’s easier than ever to shift to an environmentally friendly business model, all thanks to smart working.
This comes down to travel, one of the main contributors to pollution. With smart work, employees no longer have to drive to the office, which means they’ll significantly reduce their CO2 output. No matter your business’s size, this will have a meaningful impact over time: even one employee who reduces their commute time will end up outputting far less CO2 over the course of a year.
This isn’t the only way of reducing the environmental impact of travel, of course. Nor is it the only way smart work can create a greener company. That’s because working remotely eliminates the need for business trips — so your employees no longer have to add to their carbon footprint via plane rides.
Again, the impact of this may seem small at first. But consider that a whole 12% of all plane trips taken are for business purposes. If we reduce or even eliminate this element of travel, the environmental impact will be significant.
These ideas aren’t just theory, either. From this graph, we can easily see what happened over just three months when cities reduced their commuting during the period of quarantine.
The results are highly compelling: we saw far less air pollution and far less smoggy cities. All from just three months of change!
And as great as this all is for the Earth, remember that it’s not just the planet that will be happy with less travel — actually, so will your employees! (Can you honestly show me many people who enjoy being stuck in hour-long traffic jams every morning and night of the work week?) Then there’s how your own business will get more productivity and reduced costs by taking your meetings into the virtual space.
The point of all this is, the choice is no longer between polluting the planet or making money. Now, you can do both right away. And with how easy it is to start, you should ask yourself: what’s holding you back? Now is still the perfect time to make a difference both for yourself and your company.