Beta version of tool that calculates a firm's potential to save money and carbon through different flexible working scenarios is being tested by a number of companies
O2 and the Carbon Trust have today launched a ‘green savings calculator' to help UK businesses optimise financial and carbon savings as they develop long-term flexible working policies over the coming months and years.
Hitachi Capital UK is one of a number of companies already signed up to a beta trial of the calculator, which the partners claim will help firms reap "huge unclaimed savings" as they navigate a challenging economic climate.
Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay stressed the tool would be useful for a growing number of companies that are likely to permanently overhaul their flexible working policies in the wake of the pandemic. "We are dedicated to helping businesses move towards a more sustainable future by creating tools to inform strategic decisions," he said. "Re-imagining working patterns in the coming months and years provides an opportunity to shift towards more sustainable business models."
The calculator, which relies on calculations from the Carbon Trust, looks at different ways businesses can save money and carbon, from business travel reduction to longer-term initiatives such as more targeted use of company fleets and office space.
If all employees were encouraged to work two days a week at home and international business travel was axed, the calculator estimates a business with 100 employees could save 53 tonnes of CO2 and £262,000 in energy, travel, and office-related costs annually. And if the same policies were introduced at a larger company of 1,000 employees, roughly 534 tonnes of CO2 and £2.6m could be saved each year, according to the tool.
O2 and Carbon Trust said it was important for companies to be aware of these potential savings, arguing "it is now clear flexible work is here to stay".
Mark Evans, chief executive of O2, emphasised that the "clear benefits" already delivered by a surge in flexible working in the UK should be sustained into the future.
"Mobile and digital connectivity, smartly designed and deployed, can help businesses and industries to improve their productivity and efficiency, while reducing carbon emissions," he said. "All businesses need to start thinking green with every decision they make."
O2 and the Carbon Trust's collaboration is just one of a number of carbon calculators that have been developed in recent months, including ventures geared at customers from high street bank NatWest and energy company Bulb.
The launch also comes just a week after consultancy EcoAct published new guidelines to help businesses calculate carbon emissions from home-working amidst fears the pandemic will result in firms submitting carbon accounts that fail to take account of shifting working patterns.
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