Green it up | Sustainability rises on the mployee agenda as two-thirds demand action

Sustainability rises on the mployee agenda as two-thirds demand action

67% of employees want their workplaces to become more sustainable, new research from has revealed., a leading expert in business waste recycling and disposal, polled over 1,500 employees and found that, not only did more than two-thirds demand that their employer became more sustainable, but nearly two-thirds (62%) would be more likely to work for a sustainable company.

The poll comes against a backdrop of rising controversy about the Government’s Net Zero plans to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050. Although some right-wing politicians and polemicists including Steve Baker and Nigel Farage are strongly opposed to the plans, and claim to have support among the public, this poll suggests otherwise. In the corporate world, it seems that the concern is that businesses aren’t doing enough to support the green agenda and Net Zero target.

Indeed, 84% of those surveyed say the companies they work for aren’t doing enough to address climate change. Although many big name brands are keen to trumpet their sustainable credentials and climate activism, often they don’t say how they’re going to achieve their environmental goals. For example, the New York Times reports that Netflix has not provided emissions reduction targets despite saying it intends to reduce its impact on climate change. Google has cut emissions, but it’s finding the technology isn’t yet sufficiently developed for it to meet its “moonshot goal” of powering itself completely with carbon-free electricity 24-hours a day, seven days a week, all year round by 2030.

As the New York Times states, when it comes to working out how close companies are to achieving environmental goals “determining how hard companies are really trying can be very difficult when there are no regulatory standards that require uniform disclosures of important information like emissions.”

However, it seems the public would like them to try harder. Impressively, nearly half of those surveyed by (48%) said that they’d take a pay cut to work for a company that was environmentally sustainable. Given that businesses are currently struggling with the twin issues of soaring inflation and finding and retaining talent, strong environmental credentials could therefore be the key to winning the ‘War for Talent’ in the near future.

What you can do

But what can businesses do to create a sustainable workplace? suggests the following:

  1. Simplify the way you recycle your waste – such as working with an external company that offers inhouse recycling bins.

  2. Switch out your light bulbs – use energy efficient bulbs such as LEDs.

  3. Ditch the plastic – for example, swap plastic cups for paper ones at the watercooler.

  4. Introduce walking or cycling to work schemes – these can help employees save money, too.

  5. Make your business paperless – it can be as easy as switching pen and paper for a laptop, and everything is digital these days anyway!

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