The last few years have seen a “green” wave that’s been rolling for decades swell to a peak. As nations pledge to reduce their carbon emissions, cities move toward more sustainable transport and eateries ditch disposable straws, it’s hardly a surprise that workplaces are following suit.
A new Office Pulse Survey found that 59% of 538 professionals in the US and Canada say their offices have made environmentally-friendly changes in the last 3 years. This is far more common in larger offices – that number jumps to 70% for offices of over 250.
But while over half (54%) of respondents say their workplaces consider themselves “green,” not all employees would agree. Just 40% of workers consider their companies to be environmentally friendly.
It’s Not Easy Being Green
Since sustainability can touch every part of a company’s operations, from its investments to the maintenance of its offices, few places manage to tick every box – though many are trying. Some of the most common sustainable choices workers reported included offering recycling bins, shutting off lights or electronics when not in use and even going entirely digital.
Despite those moves, workers had other suggestions. Some of the most common sustainable changes workers said they’d like to see at their offices included using green cleaning products (24%), switching to recycled materials (24%) and cutting out disposable dishware (21%).
The most in-demand offering, though, was incentives (34%) – something just 7% of people say their offices currently offer. Public transit reimbursement, contests and work from home programs were the most highly sought-after initiatives.
What kind of “green” incentives do you wish your office offered?
Beyond making a difference to current employees, a workplace’s green moves could help entice new candidates. Almost one-third (32%) of professionals say a company’s sustainability efforts would be a factor in their job search. This is highest among senior managers (53%), media professionals (43%) and men (40%).
Putting the “I” in Environment
As companies press on with their environmental changes, individual workers have their own choices to make. Sustainability is a consideration for many, with 74% of Canadians and 63% of Americans saying “I genuinely think it’s necessary to be green” best matches their own sentiment.
What best describes your sentiment about going green?