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Peer pressure fuels green agenda, says Capgemini

Antony Savvas

A third (34%) of employees have been forced by their peers to go green, says research commissioned by IT services firm Capgemini.

The research, to identify the most effective incentives to promote staff energy efficiency, found that 42% of the 1,389 employees questioned by YouGov supported environmental initiatives in the workplace, because of their own environmental beliefs.

One in five (18%) saw ignorance of environmental issues as a key barrier in green initiatives being implemented in the workplace.

Wasteful behaviour by employees in office environments increases energy consumption by 20%, costing UK firms over £157m every year, according to the Carbon Trust charity.

This is set to climb further with energy prices for businesses having already risen around 38% this year.

A variety of factors were identified by the research as potential drivers of green behaviour in the workplace.

Personal success came closely behind personal beliefs and peer pressure, with one in six (16%) employees seeing career benefits from being seen to be green, whilst 17% expect direct financial rewards.

Incentives based on personal gain were particularly popular with younger workers, with one in five (23%) employees between 18 and 24 believing financial rewards are an essential factor in encouraging employees to be environmentally friendly.

James Robey, head of corporate sustainability at Capgemini UK, said, "Achieving the necessary change in business culture requires employee engagement and co-operation.

"From our experience, engaging employees and offering them simple, effective ways of changing their behaviours appears to deliver the most significant level of engagement."


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