Sustainability key to attracting and retaining workers, study finds

The majority of UK office workers are unimpressed with their employer’s green credentials, and many would turn down a job at a firm with a poor sustainability record.


That is according to a study of 1,000 office staff, which found that nearly three-quarters would like to see their company improve its sustainability policy.

Around a third do not believe their workplace is environmentally sustainable, and nearly a quarter said they would refuse a job at an organisation with a poor environmental record.

When asked who should be responsible for improving workplace sustainability, 72% said that all staff should be accountable, with 24% mentioning the CEO, and 17% pointing to the HR department.

The research was released today to mark World Environment Day, and suggests that company-wide sustainability commitments could be key to attracting and retaining employees.

“A sustainable mindset starts from the top – it’s only fair that those in charge show their commitment to the cause, and implement policies that encourage sustainability at work,” said Jamie Field, MD at video production company TopLine Film, which commissioned the research.

“Establishing environmentally friendly practices is simply good for business. Attracting and retaining employees is as good a motivation as any other to get your company thinking about sustainability.”

When asked what their workplace currently does to address sustainability, the most popular activity was recycling office waste, which was mentioned by 50% of respondents.

And around a quarter cited other policies to reduce paper usage, encourage staff to reduce energy consumption, boost energy efficiency, reduce travel time, and encourage reusable kitchenware.

This comes after previous research found that a massive 86% of young people would stay at a company longer if it demonstrates strong sustainability credentials.

“Encouraging sustainability doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With over 15 tons of plastic dumped in the ocean every minute, banning single-use plastic in the office is a logical step towards sustainability," Field said.

"It’s our collective responsibility to make a difference to our planet and it starts with making small changes. These simple policies remind everyone about sustainability and your commitment to it.” 


Image credit | iStock 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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