Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Commuting is likely to be a large component of your firm’s carbon footprint. REI found that 20% of its carbon footprint was generated by commuting.

Inefficiency – 77% of commuters or 105 million commuters drive alone. With an average commute of 16 miles each way and an average mpg of 24.7, then drive-alone commuting uses 127 Million gallons of gas annually.

For every gallon of gasoline that is consumed:
24 pounds total green house gas
5 pounds from drilling, refining, and distributing
19 pounds from driving

Opportunity - If 25% of the drive alone commuters were to telecommute just 1 day per week then

  • Save 1.5 Billion gallons of gas annually. For each 100 employees who telecommute 1 day per week, then 6,200 gallons of gas saved annually.
  • Avoid 18 Million tons of global warming pollution or 74 tons per 100 employees participating in 1 day per week.
  • The direct benefits to your business of telecommuting are recruiting and retaining employees, employee productivity when undisturbed, potential reduction in real estate costs.

1. Define a telecommute policy that fits your business.
2. Encourage telecommuting.
3. Track miles saved.
4. Determine if tax incentives are available.


Sample telecommute policy from Columbia University Telecommuting Policy
and Pacific Bell Sample Agreement and Policy


  1. I like the concepts and it made me think... this is a strange feeling. How does a simple person conceptualize 1.5 Billion gallons? Is it a line of gas tankers from San Francisco to LA? or one of the Great Lakes... simple analogies that can help us see the enormity of the concern will have more impact.

  2. Hi David - Great observation. I will include better analogies. On other topics that directly impact Business expenses, such as Data Center, office equipment, etc have tried to give range of cost savings. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Regards, C