As climate change and severe weather have raised awareness on sustainability issues, a new survey reveals that 73% of office workers now expect their employers to take a stand on sustainability – and 25% of them say they would refuse a job if the potential employer has a poor sustainability record.
The theme for this year was #BeatAirPollution, with research from the World Health Organisation showing that 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air on a daily basis.
The research is a wake up call for commercial property owners and employers – the message is clear, as well as any legal building obligations, employers must have robust sustainability policies if they are to attract and retain the best talent.
It seems employers have a long way to go. Nearly a third of respondents (31 percent) don’t think their workplace is environmentally sustainable – and they are more than willing to play their part in creating change. When asked whose responsibility it is for an eco-friendly workplace, the majority (72 percent) said all employees were responsible, followed by the CEO (24 percent) and the HR department (17 percent).
Jamie Field, MD of TopLine Film said:
“Establishing environmentally friendly practices in the workplace is simply good for business. Attracting and retaining employees is as good a motivation as any other to get your company thinking about sustainability. But a sustainable mindset starts from the top – it’s only fair that those in charge show their commitment to the cause, and implement policies that encourage sustainability at work.”
“Encouraging sustainability in your workplace doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With over 15 tons of plastic dumped in the ocean every minute, banning single use plastic in the office is a logical step towards sustainability. It’s our collective responsibility to make a difference to our planet and it starts with making small changes. These simple policies remind everyone about sustainability and your commitment to it.”
Dave Cadwallader, Low Carbon Consultant and Director of MEES Solutions added:
“When it comes to things like single use plastics and recycling, every employee should play their part. It’s important that the C-Suite lead from the top down and encourage staff to get involved.
“However, it isn’t just what happens within the building. Commercial property owners also have their part to play – and these days, it is a legal requirement anyway. MEES compliance requirements now put sustainability on the agenda of every commercial property owner.
“Working with a low carbon consultancy expert, such as MEES Solutions, allows commercial property owners to focus resources on those sustainability improvements which will have the highest impact for the lowest spend, creating modern workplaces that people want to work in and improving the potential to attract high quality tenants.”