Our Mission Against Emissions – How SmartWorking Reduces Emissions
Ireland has transformed itself in many ways over the last ten years. According to the European Commission’s scoreboard, Irish companies were ranked number one for innovation.
But there is one crucial element that we are falling down on..
Ireland’s strong investment is unsurprising given that it offers many corporate advantages, including a competitive cost base, a young and educated workforce, low tax regime, membership in the eurozone and acts as a launch pad to the rest of Europe. It is also forecasted that we will register the highest economic growth in the EU in 2018.
We are proud of our successes but it is with disappointment that we approach a future that is uncertain. Unless we take urgent measures to lessen the effects of climate change, we could be facing dire consequences. The lack of a carbon tax increase in Budget 2019 was a major cause for concern and we need to take action immediately. Temperatures are rising and ice caps are melting as we speak.
The Reality: Ireland Takes A Step Back On Climate Change
Ireland has proven to be progressive in many ways but in terms of contributing to environmental care, the Climate Change Advisory Council affirmed that Ireland is not even close to reaching its 2020 EU targets. Emissions ought to have been reduced by 1%, but instead they increased by 3.6% (an equivalent of 2 million tonnes). This indicates a huge setback as carbon emission levels are now the same as they were in 2009. To decarbonise the economy by 2050, Ireland will need to produce 1 million fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which would require a complete reversal of the current trend. The Council’s chairman, Prof John FitzGerald, said the ongoing policies being pursued are inadequate for the issue. “We can’t reach 2020, even if we stand on our heads,” said FitzGerald.
A further UN report published last week turned our attention towards an imminent future of worsening droughts, forest fires and floods unless we take action now. The world is currently 1C warmer than preindustrial levels and has been rising steadily in recent years. The heat waves, hurricanes and forest fires witnessed in the northern hemisphere this year are a clear indicator that climate change is already happening and it will not abate unless we make a difference now. As far as its impact on the planet goes, the difference between 1.5C and 2C is astronomical. The amount of people affected by rising ocean levels would be 50% lower than at 2C, while food scarcity would be a problem for fewer nations. The warning signs are here and we need to listen and develop a proactive plan.
The truth is that Ireland will not meet its 2020 targets and we will have to face the penalties. Climate and energy experts estimate that Ireland could face EU fines of up to €600 million per year until the target is met. Keeping in mind that it will take 30 years to reach the target as it stands, the country could be expected to pay a total of €18,000 million by 2050.
“Previously in Ireland people would have been thinking about climate change as something that’s going to happen in the long term, somewhere else.”
Laura Burke, Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Yet the reality of the situation we face is the opposite. We felt compelled to put our thinking heads together in order to develop a proative plan to ensure that all is not lost for Ireland. We want to instil hope in the people of Ireland that we can create a better environmental future.
And with that, we have one idea that could help us reach our targets, cut costs AND save the planet.
43 Companies Pledge to Reduce Carbon Emissions
Last week, a welcome announcement was made on 14th November 2018, that 43 companies in Ireland pledged to reduce their carbon emissions between now and 2030. Companies aim to reduce their carbon footprint under two criteria. Scope 1 emissions refer to the greenhouse gases produced directly from sources that are owned and controlled by the company, such as fuels used in vehicles, boilers and furnaces. Scope 2 emissions relate to indirect greenhouse gases from purchase of electricity. Business in the Community Ireland’s CEO, Tomás Sercovich, added that
CEO’s and business leaders must be proactive in today’s world in leading from the front in tackling major issues facing our communities, our countries and our planet. Increased leadership is what employees and consumers throughout Ireland are increasingly demanding.
The low carbon pledge signatories have set a goal of 2030.
Abodoo’s Mission Against Carbon Emission
Having brain stormed, planned, edited and drafted our concept, we have developed a strategic plan of action that adopts a SmartWorking policy to slash carbon emissions and help us reach our EU target.
In just one week, Logitech saved 60,389kg of CO2 emissions by allowing their employees to skip their commute and instead work from home or from a co-working space. This got us thinking. Could we do the same in Ireland? We considered the number of Irish companies and how many metric tonnes of CO2 are produced by daily commuters in Ireland. After analysing the data, we came up with two solutions that could lead Ireland to reach the EU target.
One key concept involves losing the commute. By allowing even 1 employee to work from home 1 day per week, you are cutting back on carbon emissions. It is said that an average commuter creates annual CO2 emissions of 4.2 metric tonnes. Considering there are 260,000 active companies in Ireland today, the figures add up to 1.1 million metric tones of carbon emission per year.
The second key concept revolves around the E-Worker Allowance. According to the Revenue Commissioner’s website, e-Workers incur expenditure in the performance of their duties from home, such as additional heating and electricity costs. Revenue allows an employer to make payments up to €3.20 per day to employees without deducting PAYE, PRSI, or USC.We call for the government to pay this €3.20 per day per employee (€3.20 x 365 x 260K).
Although the government would be expending 30 million in covering the e-Worker allowance, the e-Worker strategy could save the Government up to 570 million if they can avoid EU fines for not reaching carbon targets. 570 million could in turn be put towards improving infrastructure, social housing and education.
Global Gain: A Win-Win for all
Abodoo’s mission against emissions will not only benefit the environment and the budget but also benefit you personally. Irish Companies are subjected to no extra cost and reap the benefits of happier, more flexible employees and increased productivity. Businesses begin to witness the financial benefits of reduced sick leave & global warming weather days off due to storms, snow etc. We will be supporting rural regeneration by enabling towns and villages to retain and regain skilled and employed workforce while also benefitting from the national broadband plan that is currently in motion.
If we do not have set environmental policy in place to make a substantial difference, we need to unite to make the change. By joining together to build a #SmartWorking community, we hope to instill hope in the Future of Ireland and ensure it is contributing its fair share in driving global environmental change.
Do you want your business to make a difference to the future of our world?
Start by hiring smart workers.
Post your job for free and get matched today.