Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Green practices stay at home

An interesting survey from concludes that whilst the British follow good environmental practices at home, they don’t always take their concerns or actions to work with them.

The report found that in the UK:

  • 21% print out emails when they don’t need to

  • 13% leave work without switching their computer off

  • 33% turn off electrical goods at the end of the day at home, but not at work

  • 18% don’t know what their organisation’s green policy is.

The survey was released as part of a Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) campaign to urge small businesses to cut down on waste and reduce energy and water use in order to reap the financial benefits. Defra estimates that UK businesses could save £6.4bn a year by implementing the sort of resource efficiency measures that employees do at home, such as turning down thermostats, turning off lights and addressing dripping taps.

Whilst environmental evangelists may have been a factor in bringing green issues into the workplace, it seems that among the wider population the main concern is their own homes.

It’s not an unexpected finding that simply implementing rules at work is not enough.  Green ICT is a good example, since much good practice depends on the end users taking action in turning machines to standby or off, printing less, making do with fewer electronic gadgets, etc.  Green ICT, and indeed any business environmental policy needs good communication and employee buy-in.  It involves explaining not just how you achieve green ICT, but why it’s necessary and how everyone gains in the long term.

© The Green IT Review

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