Assessing the GHG Emissions Impacts of Distributed Workplace Policies

The General Services Administration (GSA) employs over 11,000 workers and manages about 8,700 federal and leased properties across the federal government. As with most agencies during the pandemic, GSA’s employees largely worked outside the office and have been operating in a more hybrid structure than before COVID, even with the shift back to the office in 2022.

A recent GAO Report (GAO-23-106200) found that federal office buildings continue to be chronically underutilized, leading to significant energy and cost implications.

Flexible workplace policies, such as remote and hybrid work options, have become more popular and prevalent since the pandemic and have reshaped how and where we work. Shifting to a more distributed work model with options like remote and hybrid work can impact an organization’s climate action and GHG emissions targets. A tool is needed to help assess these impacts.

To analyze and assess the cost and environmental impacts of distributed work, GSA developed a simple tool to help government agencies and private sector organizations model the emissions implications of different distributed work scenarios, including the level of telework they adopt.

This Excel-based tool, the Workplace Investment & Feasibility Model (WIFM), can help decision-makers quickly and effectively understand the implications to office space, commuting and GHG emissions of different workplace planning decisions.

This session will provide an overview of the WIFM’s origins in GSA’s Workplace 2030 project, and the research, data sources, methodology, and analysis behind the development of the carbon implications module. In addition, the team will demonstrate how this module might be used to inform future decisions regarding workplace policy by evaluating potential changes in GHG emissions through modifications of office footprint, commuting, business travel, and home office energy use parameters.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn how to estimate the GHG emissions of workplace planning decisions and your organization’s distributed work model
  • Understand different work models (in-person, hybrid, remote) and a new method to evaluate the amount of office space your organization needs based on those models
  • Gain practical knowledge to integrate sustainable practices into workplace planning and decision-making activities, such as remodeling, building, and leasing work space.
  • Be able to set effective GHG emission reduction strategies by identifying the main sources and magnitudes of workplace emissions
Time:
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Date:
23 May 2024
Federal A

Speaker

Brian Gilligan
Professional Engineer and Deputy Director, Office of Federal High Performance Green Buildings, General Services Administration
Saif Sadeq
Principal, Sustainability and High-Performance Green Buildings, Noblis