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Title: Sustainable Ways to be Sustainable: Analyzing U.S. Traffic Data to Determine the Long-Term Impact Work From Home Options Can Have on Carbon Emissions
Authors: Roesch, Rachel
Advisors: Racz, Miklos
Department: Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Class Year: 2022
Abstract: In this thesis, we explore the long-term impact that working from home can have on reducing carbon emissions. The stay at home orders that were put into place due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to significant decreases in global carbon emissions, specifically in the transportation sector. As a result, the world was able to achieve the goal set out by the Paris Climate Agreement in the year 2020 in order to limit the global temperature from rising 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the 21st century. However, with the stay at home orders lifted, we are already beginning to see carbon emissions rise back to pre-pandemic levels for the year 2021. We study how offering Work From Home (WFH) options may be a sustainable practice to continue to meet carbon emission targets for years to come. By companies switching to remote work, we can reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector by decreasing the need to travel for business. To reach this conclusion, we first collect and analyze U.S. traffic data. Next, we construct a mathematical model to solve for the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from business-related travel in a given region. Then we repeat this process for different time periods in relation to the pandemic and compare the results in order to determine by what percentage carbon emissions can be reduced by working from home in a given region.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Operations Research and Financial Engineering, 2000-2022

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