On the Bunzl CHS blog we’ve already talked about easy ways to make your workplace more environmentally-friendly, but we were interested to find out more about how ‘green’ our workplaces already are.
We surveyed just over 100 people about the environmentally-friendly – or indeed unfriendliness – of their workplaces, to see just how far we have to go in the UK.
It was a pleasant surprise to find that well over a third (41%) of the people we surveyed believed that their workplaces are ‘moderately’ environmentally conscious, and more than one in ten (12%) believed theirs to be ‘largely’ so. That means that well over half of people work in businesses that have committed to becoming more environmentally-conscious, but also that many businesses could have a lot of catching-up to do.
In terms of the exact steps that businesses are taking to become more environmentally-friendly, reducing paper usage is the most popular, with a fantastic 62% of respondents telling us that their workplace has taken steps to cut paper waste. This was closely followed by introducing recycling facilities and initiatives (60%), fitting lights that automatically switch-off (36%), using environmentally-friendly commercial cleaning products (32%) and purchasing office and workplace supplies made from recycled materials (30%).
As environmentally-friendly cleaning products have become a hot topic in recent years, we asked our survey panel to share their thoughts. A quarter told us that they have tried cleaning products that have been designed to be better for the environment, and that they liked them and try to use them as much as possible – and a further 15% said that they were so impressed by them that they now use them all the time. In fact, when asked how effective they believe environmentally-friendly cleaning products to be when compared to ‘traditional’ products, nearly a third of people (31%) told us that they believe they are more effective.
Encouragingly, we also discovered that the majority of the people we surveyed (59%) would gladly put their money where their mouths are, and pay more for cleaning products if they knew that they were better for the environment. This is great news for manufacturers of eco-friendly cleaning products, who frequently have to attach premium prices to their products due to the unique methods of manufacture or the particular ingredients used.
And it’s not just in the workplace where a ‘green regime’ matters. Even in their own homes, nearly a quarter (21%) of people surveyed told us that they use environmentally-friendly domestic cleaning products, but less than one in ten (9%) claimed to use them exclusively around the house.
But one of the most important questions that we asked was how employees felt about doing business with other companies that have made a commitment to becoming more environmentally-friendly.
Over two-fifths (44%) of our respondents stated that it’s ‘somewhat important’ to do business with environmentally-conscious companies, but rather surprisingly, little more than one in ten (13%) people believed it to be very important for their own businesses. Perhaps these attitudes explain why less than half (48%) of people said that their companies had made attempts to become ‘greener’ to some extent, to little extent, or even not at all.
Are you surprised by the findings of our survey? How do our findings compare with your company, and what steps have been taken by your business to be better for the environment? Share your thoughts in the comments below!