U.K. Employers’ Environmental Performance Mixed

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<p><strong>London &mdash; Aug. 27</strong><br />A majority of employers are encouraging recycling and energy reduction, but far fewer organizations are green in their approach to transport, according to the latest quarterly CIPD/KPMG Labor Market Outlook survey of 757 employers.  </p><p>This suggests U.K. employers are having difficulty with the more difficult workplace challenges that need to be overcome to help fight climate change.<br /><br />Although 91 percent encourage recycling, and 83 percent encourage reduction in energy consumption, only 45 percent encourage car-sharing.</p><p>Fewer still consider more-imaginative ways of reducing the need to travel such as encourage their staff to work from home (30 percent).  </p><p>Seventy percent of HR professionals say their organization could do more to encourage employees to reduce the environmental impact of their travel arrangements.<br /><br />&ldquo;U.K. workplaces are making a real contribution to the environment with quick and easy wins such as recycling and energy-saving schemes,” said Gerwyn Davies, co-author of the Labor Market Outlook report. “However, there is potential for organizations to promote greener transport alternatives and work practices such as home-working to reduce the environmental impact of business travel.  </p><p>”Where practical, this could reduce costs and stress levels for employees and improve productivity for the employer &mdash; offering a potential win-win situation.&rdquo;  <br /><br />The report also suggests the environment can be used as an important recruitment and retention tool, particularly for younger workers &mdash; 46 percent of employers say potential recruits would prefer to join an organization with a strong environmental policy, and 39 percent of employers say an environmental policy is more important to younger workers.<br /><br />&ldquo;Reputation and employer brand have risen to the forefront of the HR agenda,” Davies said. “Employers recognize that to be attractive in the talent marketplace, they need to consider how potential employees will view their environmental and ethical record. Employers will therefore need to set an example on the environment to become an employer of choice.&rdquo;<br /><br />Mike Kelly, KPMG director of corporate social responsibility, agrees.</p><p>&ldquo;If you want to be a great place to work, then it&rsquo;s not just about base salary and benefits,” he said. “People increasingly expect to work in a business which has embedded environmental management systems to effectively manage its environmental impacts, and we are finding that it is an issue that is moving up the agenda, especially among the graduate community.&rdquo;<br /><br />The report also finds 44 percent of U.K. organizations have an environmental policy in place, a figure which is set to rise to 70 percent in the next 12 months. </p><p>&ldquo;Our survey shows that the environment is growing in importance for HR professionals,&rdquo; Davies said.<br /><br />Other key findings:<br /></p><ul><li>29 percent of organizations have changed their emergency-planning procedures to take account of the impact of climate change.</li><li>64 percent of employees actively use the recycling facilities while at work. This compares with 59 percent of organizations who say their employees are energy-conscious.    <br /></li><li>70 percent of HR professionals say their organization could do more to encourage employees to reduce the environmental impact of their travel arrangements. Fifty-six percent say there is potential to reduce business travel. </li><li>37 percent of U.K. organizations aim to achieve carbon-neutral status.</li><li>37 percent of employers think senior management provides leadership and support on green issues.</li><li>8 percent reward green behavior with financial incentives/awards/green behavior. <br /></li></ul>

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