The White Paper Pandemic Series - Telecommuting’s Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in LA

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2021
Time: 4:00 pm 5:30 pm




Telecommuting's Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in LA


February 25, 2021

4:00-5:30 pm PST


This is a virtual event!

(access link will be sent upon registration)



A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant portion of Angelenos are still telecommuting (otherwise known as "working from home") to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Across the U.S., the number of days worked from home in 2020 more than doubled compared to 2019. Even after the pandemic subsides, experts predict telecommuting rates will remain far higher than pre-pandemic levels, begging the question, how will this shift in workforce location impact the environment? Though it's often assumed telecommuting reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), after diving into the scientific literature, we find the picture isn't so clear. Telecommuting has a complex impact on both the transportation and building sectors, which combined, are responsible for the vast majority of GHGs in LA County. With this in mind, our white paper explores how these two sectors have been impacted by COVID-19 and telecommuting, potential implications of telecommuting on GHGs, and what private companies and public policymakers should consider to ensure increased telecommuting is compatible with our region's climate change goals.


Join The Los Angeles Sustainability Executives Roundtable (LASER) and USGBC-LA for a panel discussion to dive deeper into these impacts and the findings of our white paper.  The expert panel will be followed by breakout Q & A session. Download our white paper here.



4:00 pm - Welcome & Intro


4:10 pm - Framing by Hilary Norton, Chairwoman and Commissioner,

California Transportation Commission (CTC)


4:20 pm - Panel Discussion


5:00 pm - Breakout Sessions


About the Presenters



Framer - Hilary Norton, Chairwoman and Commissioner, California Transportation Commission (CTC)

Hilary Norton brings over 28 years of experience to her role as commissioner.  As FAST’s founding Executive Director since 2008, Ms. Norton has mobilized a diverse coalition of business, labor, civic groups, educational institutions and transit organizations to support policy and infrastructure improvements to LA’s mobility, livability and economic prosperity. FAST’s major initiatives include:  1) FASTLinkDTLA – a new Transportation Management Organization (TMO) for Downtown LA, which operates one of the first ever in LA County micro-transit systems which connects travelers through the flexLA multi-mobility app, and connecting new on-demand wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV), transit, vanpools, carpools, scooters, bike share, biking and walking;  2) Mobility Hubs – carshare, bikeshare, bike parking, EV charging and traveler services at transit stations, job and education centers; 3) comprehensive arterial improvements to improve travel time, encourage mode shift, and promote safety and transit connectivity; 4) Metro ExpressLanes implementation throughout LA County, creating the Metro ExpressLanes Business Roundtable to support the pilot corridors and expand into a network; 5) Expanding LA County’s bus rapid transit (BRT) network; and 6) Sixth Street Viaduct, Sixth Street Park and Arts District Station – which is the largest bridge reconstruction project in LA’s history, adding bicycle and pedestrian lanes, and connections to the LA River and the Metro Red/Purple Line.

Ms. Norton served as 2018 chairwoman of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), and is on the Board of Directors of the Central City Association. She co-chairs the Transportation Committees for BizFed, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and the Los Angeles Business Council. Ms. Norton also served as the Business Representative on LA County Metro’s Policy Advisory Committee and was a member of the Advisory Boards for Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation and Metro’s Next Gen Bus Study. She is a member of SCAG’s GLUE Council and its TDM Working Group. Ms. Norton is a Director for the Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) which provides world class health care to all children regardless of ability to pay, and is a Board member of the Leo Buscaglia Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer, LA Metro

Joshua L. Schank is the first-ever Chief Innovation Officer for the Los Angeles County Metro and former President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation a non-profit foundation with the mission of improving transportation policy and leadership. Dr. Schank, who is an urban planner, has worked on federal and state transportation policy over a decade.

Dr. Schank was Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton during the development of the last six year transportation authorization bill (SAFETEA-LU). He has also worked as a Consultant with PB Consult and Senior Associate at ICF International in Washington, D.C., as well as the Office of the Inspector General’s in the U.S. Department of Transportation, and with the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City.

Dr. Schank’s extensive work in transportation policy and planning is well documented in his publications, including “All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding,” co-authored with Costas Panagopoulos and published by CQ Press in 2007. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in urban studies from Columbia University.

Laura Schewel, Founder and CEO, Streetlight Data

Before founding StreetLight, Laura worked on transportation sustainability issues at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Rocky Mountain Institute. Laura holds degrees in Engineering and Literature from Yale, with a PhD from UC Berkeley.

Ram Narayanamurthy, Technical Executive Decarbonization of Buildings and Communities, EPRI

Ram is the technical lead for Advanced Buildings at EPRI.  He directs research in the areas of Building Decarbonization, Building Flexibility and Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Communities.  He has been instrumental in advancing California’s goals for Net Zero Energy and zero carbon buildings, developing the first Zero net energy neighborhood and developing zero energy affordable housing communities in the Central Valley and Southern California.