Employees Fail to go Green at Work

Employees Fail to go Green at Work

Almost two–thirds of employees in small businesses are guilty of failing to follow their firm’s environmental policies, according to energy supplier E.ON.

The research from E.ON also revealed that although 60 per cent of staff in small businesses have made changes at home due to concerns about global warming, 78 per cent have failed to transfer these energy saving practices from their home into the workplace.

“Legislation is becoming increasingly strict in terms of waste regulations and compliance – but many businesses don’t know where to look for advice and staff don’t understand that simple actions can make a big difference,”

said Envirowise’s programme marketing manager Elaine Sharp.

“Small businesses can achieve significant savings at the bottom line by being more sustainable,” she added. “Often firms are not as resource efficient as they could be simply because they don’t know what actions they can take to make these changes.”

E.ON’s research found that there are three main reasons why staff find it harder to transfer environmentally–friendly habits from the home to the workplace, including:

  • 56 per cent are afraid to ask permission to be “green’ if their firm has no green policy in place
  • 55 per cent say there are a lack of financial incentives, for example they are not saving on energy bills as they are at home
  • 26 per cent are afraid of being ridiculed by co-workers.

According to E.ON, employees that are inefficient and fail to make energy savings at work are causing British businesses to waste energy amounting to £12.7 billion per year and 7.1 billion tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emitted nationwide.

“A very successful green campaign was run within E.ON whereby an ‘environmental sinner’ sticker was placed on each computer that had been left on standby at the end of the day,”

said E.ON spokesperson Louise Nottage.

“It turned the issues of being ridiculed on its head, being embarrassed by not taking the right actions, meaning colleagues were even more conscious about turning their computers off.”

“Firms could implement a reward scheme that would see staff benefiting directly from a change in behaviours, for example with a shared party, charity giving or vouchers,” she added.

According to research from the Carbon Trust, £6,000 per year is wasted by an average office not switching off electrical equipment over evenings and weekends – this amount rises for larger firms.

For more information about forming a “green’ workplace policy visit the Envirowise website

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