4 ways WFH teams can supercharge their sustainability credentials

15th December 2020 Off By Vanessa Tierney

A new, ‘hybrid’ way of working – where some employees commute while others work from home – is fast becoming the norm, and there are opportunities for the WFH cohort to take their ‘green’ badge to the next level…

More and more business leaders and HR experts think that post-Covid, workplaces will cater equally to those staff who want to continue working from the office, and those who want to work from home.

Surveys show that most employees, in fact, will want a bit of both: career nirvana, it seems, is to be able to pop into work one or two days a week and feel part of the team, and then spend the rest of the work based in your home office.

Catering to this new, hybrid workforce is the raison d’être behind Abodoo partner Yonderdesk, whose new ‘digital real estate’ solution helps put at-home and in-office workers on an even keel – but that’s another story.

Working from home means you don’t have to commute – which can only be good for the environment. And this time next year, businesses will be posting data about how much their new flexible working policies have cut down on their employees’ total carbon footprint.

If you’re one of the at-home workers, you should absolutely give yourself a gentle pat on the back for being part of the climate crisis solution. But with a little effort, you can go further still…

Don’t cancel out your eco brownie points with local car journeys

According to BBC data, you’re responsible for around 41g of CO2 emissions for every km of train journeys that you take. So if your WFH regime saves you a commute of 20km per day, you’re avoiding 820g of emissions daily.

However, if you now take the car to the local supermarket for fresh bread each morning and that’s a 6km round-trip, you’re responsible for just over 1kg of CO2 emissions, which is obviously worse. Fresh bread rules – but take a bike and stay fit.

Ditch the gym

OK, so this is absolutely not a rant about gyms – they definitely have their place, they can be great for mental and physical health, and we appreciate that running a gym is hard work. But… gyms are generally energy guzzlers.

Sure, some have made serious inroads into improving their green credentials – some have even reconfigured their machines to actually capture energy – but the average gym is awash with lights, TV screens, vending machines, endless hot water, freshly-laundered towels, and a multitude of fitness gear plugged into the mains.

To nudge up your own WFH green-star rating, invest in some resistance bands, and give yourself a whole-body workout without using up a single watt from the national grid.

Consume sustainably

Nespresso’s slice of the global coffee market is huge, and while the company does have collection points for its used pods so that they can be recycled, WFH Nespresso fans might find that they simply forget about this and toss them in the trash.

Several companies, including Rave Coffee and Grind, sell compostable Nespresso pods, which can only be a good thing, especially if they ultimately help your garden to grow. Think also about the origin of your coffee – Fairtrade is the obvious way to go, but a multitude of brands like Stumptown Roasters, Larry’s Coffee, and Underdog all have a great back-story that shows a process with a heart.


That’s right – when working from home, the temptation can be to throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot every morning (especially mid-winter) and pop it on the stove in anticipation of a delicious lunchtime treat. Which is, of course, a massive waste of energy. Far better to make one or two big batches at the weekend and then freeze them in portions to be heated as needed in the microwave.