Research conducted for the print and copy specialist Kyocera Mita has shown that levels of environmental concern among the UK’s office workers have fallen over the past two years.
The survey into attitudes towards environmental issues amongst UK businesses found that the percentage of UK employees stating that they were personally concerned about environmental issues fell from a peak of 77% in 2008 to 63% in 2010. When asked specifically about the issue of climate change, the figures were even starker, with concern down to 50% from 65% in 2008.
However, despite the drop in personal environmental concern, the survey showed some encouraging signs that environmental responsibility is becoming ingrained in the corporate psyche.
The good news is that the economic downturn appears to have had little negative effect on environmental initiatives being carried out by organisations, with 25% of respondents stating that they had actually carried out more environmental activities than originally planned as a result of a focus on reducing energy costs. It was also considered easier to get environmental policies onto the IT planning agenda in 2010 compared with 2008 with 41% finding support from management easier to achieve. Furthermore, 65% of IT Managers confirmed that they are now required to report on the energy performance of their networks, although only 49% had actually conducted an energy audit.
Act green, mean lean appears to be the mantra, with cost reduction remaining the primary driver in IT investment for the majority of organisations , but environmental considerations are considered “important” in 35% of businesses. This is a strong indication of the alignment between cost-saving and energy-saving initiatives that has occurred over the past 18 months.
Kyocera’s Director of Brand and Reputation Tracey Rawling Church said: “It’s clear that individual office workers are suffering an element of “green fatigue” when it comes to personal environmental concern. What is more encouraging is the increase in environmental activity being initiated from the corporate level. Undoubtedly in larger organisations this is being driven by legislative requirements such as the CRC energy efficiency scheme. High environmental reporting requirements on IT networks encourage those responsible to prioritise investment in energy-efficient technology and as such are a positive sign.”