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Statement: Stern Report

WORK SMARTER IS ADVICE FOR SAVING THE PLANET

Campaigners for smarter working today (October 30) offered an immediate answer to some of the problems of the environmental impact of human activity on the globe: the world needs to reform the way it works.

The advice comes in the wake of the Stern report which predicted environmental apocalypse if action is not taken now. Published today, the report anticipates that 200 million people will become refugees and a global recession worse than that in the 1920s and 1930s will result if current CO2 pollution levels are unchecked.

The widespread introduction of smarter working practices will significantly reduce the need for travel, both commuting and travel for business, making a huge impact to the levels of CO2 emissions from transport sources. Enabling more home working, more flexible working, better remote and mobile working, all have the impact of reducing the need to travel, and staggering the required travel patterns, which will also reduce peak time congestion, in itself a major contributor to pollution levels.

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, said: “The need to work from nine to five, five days a week, is an anachronism in this modern 24/7 global world: there is no need for it. The realisation of the damage our working patterns are causing the environment further underlines the need for us to have a workplace revolution so that we can minimise the impact of human activity on the environment.

“This will probably be one of the least costly, and most effective steps that companies could take to make their contribution to reducing emissions.

“Adopting smarter working practices is a win-win situation: not only will it help reduce emissions, it will also provide staff with a better work-life balance and make them more productive.”

Work Wise UK is running Commute Smart Day on Wednesday, 1 November, to promote flexible working, staggered journeys and part home working, to alleviate the need for commuters to have to travel to and from home in the dark, adding to the already burdensome average eight hours commuting per week. Additional benefits here, which will be true for all smarter working, are a fall in peak time congestion and overcrowding, and a reduction in seasonal accident levels.

Further information about Work Wise UK and Commute Smart Day can be found at www.workwiseuk.org. The website includes guidance and assistance for those wishing to implement smarter working as part of Commute Smart Day

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