UK companies failing to think green

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UK companies failing to think green

Employees wasting energy and emitting thousands of tonnes of carbon.

Employees who leave their environmental consciences at home are needlessly wasting energy, and emitting thousands of tonnes of carbon, research has claimed.

An independent study commissioned by solutions provider Logicalis claims that a lack of incentives and poor leadership from management are the main factors preventing employees going green at work.

The December 2006 survey of over 1,000 employees across UK public and private sector organisations found that employees still look to their employer to lead by example when it comes to being environmentally responsible.

This is despite a clear understanding of the steps employees need to adopt to become more environmentally friendly.

Just under two thirds of staff indicated that their employer should offer incentives for being green in the workplace, while 57 per cent said that they could be encouraged to act greener if their employer "led by example".

The poll found that workplace attitudes are in stark contrast to environmental efforts at home, where 94 percent of people switch off lights, 85 percent switch off their PC after use, and 54 percent use only the minimum amount of water needed when boiling a kettle.

Yet only 66 percent, 53 percent and 10 percent of employees respectively carry out these simple green practices in the office.

Tom Kelly, managing director of Logicalis UK, said: "The research tells us that there is a huge, wasteful consumption of energy and resources taking places in offices throughout the UK.

"Organisations must tap into the environmental consciousness being displayed in the home to cut business energy costs and reduce the carbon and environmental footprint."

Kelly suggested that the difference in attitudes could be explained by the fact that just under half of all those surveyed believe that their employer only "pays lip service" to environmental issues.

Questioned about the environmental impact of their own organisations, 49 percent of staff believed that their company wastes too much electricity, and a similar figure believed that their employer should put schemes in place to help save resources in the workplace.

Over a third of staff said that they would like more training on how to be environmentally friendly.

Chris Gabriel, head of solutions marketing at Logicalis UK, said: "This research shows that 2007 must be the year for turning well-meaning talk into action.

"The first step to achieving this is to put environmental issues at the top of the boardroom agenda, so that environmental best practice can filter through the organisation from the top down.

"Only through strong, deliberate environmental leadership, and a commitment from government, business and employees to work together, will we see a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions from UK. Tokenism will no longer cut it."
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