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The sustainability of telework: an ecological-footprinting approach

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Author(s): Markus Moos | Jean Andrey | Laura C. Johnson

Journal: Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy
ISSN 1548-7733

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: environmental impact sources | commuting | environmental policy | human-environment relationship | environmental assessment | case studies

ABSTRACT
This paper demonstrates the importance of a comprehensive framework to assess how telework affects sustainability. Sustainability-policy evaluation rarely considers substitution effects despite broad recognition that overall lifestyles must be analyzed to gauge how policy-induced behavioral changes translate into net environmental impact. Case-study data indicate that telework has far-reaching, complex, and varied effects on lifestyle practices, with potentially important environmental implications. Because adjustments occur across numerous consumption categories, the assessment of telework’s environmental dimensions must move beyond single-issue studies and single-dataset analysis. Ecological-footprint analysis, in combination with qualitative data, can suggest solutions to sustainability problems.

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