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NEWS: Lack of Incentives Prevent Employees Going Green at Work

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on February 23, 2007

It appears that UK employees are looking to their employers to lead the social responsible movement by example. This comes in major contrast to individual efforts at home to ease the environmental footprint. At home, 91% of the UK public turn off lights not in use, and 54% use only enough water for what they need, whereas only 10% of employees employ such practices. This could be the result of the 43% who believe that their employers talk the socially responsible talk, but don’t walk it. An astonishing 49% of employees believe that their employers waste too much electricity, and 37% of employees said they would like more job-training on being environmentally friendly.

Chris Gabriel, head of Solutions Marketing, Logistics UK, believes, “This research shows that 2007 must be the year for turning well-meaning talk into action.” UK Logistics, along with a government environmental charity Global Action Plan, recommends some key steps in getting companies to get their employees to follow suit:

  • Incentives – companies need to offer employees incentives to bring environmental actions into the workplace. These include, but are not limited to, a better work-life balance, and energy saving profit sharing. Governments should also offer tax incentives to companies working to become green. This will help jump start compliance.
  • Leadership – employers must show commitment to environmental responsibility before employees will themselves commit. Employees are less likely to follow through if they know their employers don’t care.
  • Innovation – Besides traditional approaches to environmental responsibility, like recycling, employers should invest in better building design, or automatic heating and cooling systems.
  • Technology – employing strategies like eco-friendly kettles which use less energy to heat up, or video conferencing, which reduces employee travel, can help employers cut costs and save the environment.
  • Education – teaching employees about environmental responsibility, as well as encouraging eco-friendly attitudes and practices at work. This includes small steps like putting computers in “stand-by” or “hibernating” modes to big steps like employee seminars.

By following these ideas, companies can better themselves and their employees. Read more here.

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