Assessing carbon reduction benefits of teleworking: A case study of Beijing

Teleworking can efficiently decrease the energy consumption and carbon emissions related to physical commuting. Previous studies on assessing the carbon reduction benefits of teleworking were customarily performed according to

hypotheses or qualitative methods, and disregarded different potentials of different industries for teleworking implementation. In this study, a quantitative approach was proposed to assess the carbon reduction benefits of teleworking in different industries, which was illustrated via the case study of Beijing, China. The teleworking penetrations of different industries were first estimated. Then, the carbon reduction of teleworking was assessed through the decreased commuting distance using the large-scale travel survey data. Finally, the study samples were extended to a citywide scale and the uncertainty of carbon reduction benefits was evaluated with Monte Carlo simulation. The results showed that (1) teleworking can lead to an average of 1.32 (95 % confidence interval (CI): 0.70–2.05) million tons of carbon reduction, accounting for 7.05 % (95 % CI: 3.74 %–10.95 %) of the total carbon emissions by road transport in Beijing; and (2) information and communication, and professional, scientific and technical service industries had higher carbon reduction potential. Additionally, the rebound effect slightly weakened the carbon reduction benefit of teleworking, which was necessary to be considered and mitigated through relevant policies. The proposed method can be also applied to other regions worldwide, helping to exploit future work patterns and realize global carbon neutrality targets.

Li et al 2023 STOTEN_Teleworking.pdf
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