Individuals should not be held responsible for environmentally friendly initiatives in the workplace, research has revealed. 70% of office workers polled …

Some 70% of office workers polled by the ‘‘Green Initiatives‘‘ survey say the responsibility lies with company directors, facilities or office managers. Recycling & Waste World reports that in the survey, in which 1,600 office staff took part, nearly half of the respondents said they find recycling (44%), switching off lights (48%) and switching appliances off from standby mode (49%) easier to do at home.

Only 30% of people polled said that recycling was the most important issue in terms of reducing the impact of the office on the environment. The results were echoed by Envirowise, the government programme that provides advice on improving resource efficiency. A survey carried out by Envirowise involving 1,800 UK office workers found that a third took no action whatsoever to reduce the amount of resources they use during the working day.

Envirowise reported that 31% of survey respondents agreed that clearer environmental policies from their employer would help them recycle more at work. 55% of people said that greater access to eco-friendly options, such as recycling bins, would also help to further green habits in the workplace. However, research carried out by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) contradicts the findings of the ‘‘Green Initiatives‘‘ survey and Envirowise. It claims that staff need little encouragement to recycle.

According to Liz Morrish, SME recycling programme manager at WRAP: “Our research shows that employee morale was boosted by recycling, with 82% of businesses saying that their staff needed no encouragement to recycle at work and over a third of businesses stating that recycling had improved their reputation in the local community. “

Professor Toby Wall, director of the Institute of Work Psychology, commented: “This is a symptom of our pressurised workplaces where there is often too little time or encouragement for people to take action on waste. “Research shows that if people are closely monitored and given strict performance targets, they will focus on their core tasks at the expense of other activities. ” “Employers should consider quickly establishing some simple steps to help employees take more ownership over the issue. “

Dr Martin Gibson, programme director at Envirowise, said: “With more than 70% of those surveyed taking positive steps to act environmentally at home, it is now vital that employers take up the challenge of increasing this behaviour in the workplace. “

Ano da Publicação:
WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #21-2006-May 25, 2006
Kit Strange/Warmer Bulletin
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