During the pandemic there was a suggestion that carbon emissions could fall as a result of businesses being closed, however research from Gazprom Energy has not found this to be the case.
The research confirmed that business carbon emissions dropped by 6% in 2020, but those savings were offset against home workers consuming more energy. The increase in home energy grew 37% and roughly levelled off against the 6% saving from businesses.
Daniel Sullivan, head of UK sales at Gazprom Energy, said “The misconception of a drop in total business energy consumption has the potential to distort some organisations’ advancement towards sustainability targets. It may give business leaders a ‘false reading’ of progress if the broader combined consumption picture isn’t considered”.
Throughout the pandemic, different business sectors were affected disproportionately, with hospitality being negatively impacted more than any other industry. As a consequence of hospitality venues being closed, carbon emissions fell 25% across the sector and financial services firms reduced their carbon emissions by 19%, according to the report.
The average household uses 3,731kWh per year, according to The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which has increased by 37% year on year (an increase of 1,380kWh per year).
Prior to the pandemic, only 5% of the UK workforce worked primarily from home however it’s anticipated that this will change. Based on research from CIPD, it’s estimated that only 37% of employers will refuse to offer employees the opportunity to work remotely after the pandemic ends, with many employers favouring a hybrid system.