Work From Home and Cuningham's Carbon Footprint

Work From Home and Cuningham's Carbon Footprint

How has working from home changed our carbon footprint?

Two years ago, Cuningham published a deep analysis of our annual carbon footprint. We learned that our footprint was approximately 5.72 metric tons CO2e per employee per year — about average for large design firms.

After one year of working from home, we redid our analysis to determine the effects of COVID-19 on our footprint (check out the graphic below for our results). Although Cuningham is much more efficient as a result of COVID-19, and we hope many of those efficiencies will endure after the pandemic, we realize that all of us are using more lighting, power, HVAC, and even paper at home.

Now that our analysis for 2020 is complete, we will begin speculating on what our “new normal” footprint will be and how we can continue to have a significantly lowered carbon footprint once we return to our office spaces.

*Figures below ignore some aspects of our footprint, including food and beverage, water supply and wastewater, furnishings, offices outside the U.S., and offsite printing. We have not included these because they require more complex and time consuming calculations and their relative contribution is small compared to what we have already analyzed. We hope that in the future we can start to add these additional pieces.