Middle East - At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on travel and social gatherings were implemented to curb the spread of the virus. A few weeks later, our news feeds were filled with stories of animals taking over almost deserted streets and improvement in air quality in different parts of the world. This sparked discussions on how the pandemic contributed to changing our world for the better. In the Middle East, as most of our colleagues are continuing to work from home since we shifted to a more flexible working arrangement, we wanted to share how your efforts have helped to reduce carbon emissions and reshaped sustainability.
Recently, we conducted a study to compare 2019 and 2020 data for the months of January to June to assess the differences in carbon emissions (CO2e) from Arcadis business transportation (cars and air travel) and electricity use. In addition, we carried out a case study on our Abu Dhabi office to see how our paper consumption has changed during the same period.
Here's what we found:
From this infographic, we can see that there is an evident reduction in carbon emissions between 2019 and 2020; and working from home from April to June has certainly assisted this reduction in a big way. The study provides a glimpse of what we can achieve as a company in terms of becoming a more sustainable workplace. Our work from home experience has shown us that videoconferencing is a viable alternative to face-to-face meetings where we are sometimes required to travel outside the office. Although COVID-19 kept most of us in our homes, we have seen that we can continue to work collaboratively with our local and global colleagues without significantly impacting efficiency and productivity. The study also highlights that small things we sometimes forget, like switching off unused lights or computers and thinking twice before we print something, can translate to huge sustainability achievements if only we are more mindful of them.
Sustainability is one of our core values and an important part of our identity as can be seen in our programs, travel guidelines and the creation of Team Green, a group of sustainability advocates in our offices. Our sustainability efforts do not have to end at our physical offices simply because some of us are in a flexible work arrangement from the comforts of our homes. Look for ways to increase awareness, preserve natural resources and reduce your (and your household's) carbon footprint.
For more information about our sustainability programs and services in the Middle East, please contact me.
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