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'Green Fatigue' Evident in UK Business

London, UK
Environmental concern among office workers in London and across the UK has dipped over the past two years.
(cc) Julen Landa

Research conducted by Loudhouse on behalf of Kyocera has shown that levels of environmental concern among the UK’s office workers have fallen over the past two years, but signs of corporate focus are encouraging.

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.

Environmental Focus

Despite the drop in personal environmental concern, the survey showed some encouraging signs that environmental responsibility is becoming ingrained in the corporate, if not in the personal, psyche. The economic downturn appears to have had little negative effect on environmental initiatives being carried out by organizations, 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.

Smart Investment

Cost reduction remains the primary driver in IT investment for the majority of organizations, 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.

Commenting on the results of the survey, 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.”

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