Employers Walk the ‘Green Walk’ But Don’t Talk the Talk

by | Jul 23, 2009

employees2Even though 24 percent of employees said their company has made sustainability a top priority in business decisions, only 17 percent said the employers frequently relay the sustainability efforts to their own employees, according to a recent Capstrat-Public Policy Polling survey.

Nearly half (46 percent) said they rarely or never hear their employers talk about sustainability.

These results indicate that companies could do more to communicate their efforts, said Ken Eudy, Chief Executive Officer of Capstrat.

“Employees really appreciate a little knowledge about their own company. The company gets a more engaged workforce, which will be more engaged in sustainability itself,”Eudy said. “They get a cadre of employees in alignment with their company.”

When it comes to recycling programs, 54 percent of poll respondents believe that is their company’s most important “green” activity.

Eudy acknowledged that, to most companies, recycling is probably not at the top of their most important green activities. His advice? “Be bold about communicating what you believe to be important,” he said.

Citing his own company as an example, Eudy said he communicates to his 70 employees that it has reduced its paper purchases about 15 percent a year, and that it’s important for them to keep up the conservation effort.

In a bid to further engage employees about making environmentally responsible choices, Eudy said his company will provide a down payment to employees who are buying fuel-efficient vehicles, which employees can repay at interest-free rates.

Some other nuggets from the poll:

  • About 10 percent of respondents consider environmental friendliness to be the most important factor in a purchasing decision.
  • About 60 percent said they would pay more for what they consider to be a “green” product.

The survey of 923 U.S. adults was conducted July 6-7.

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