People power

People power drives the eco-friendly agenda

DESPITE the economic downturn and the pressure on corporate sustainability initiatives and environmental programmes, this year’s Green List has seen a significant rise in the overall green scores achieved by companies.

Taking account of the results from both the company and employee surveys, the green score has increased from 57.6% for the company ranked 50th in 2008, to 66.7% for the company in the same position in 2009.

Organisations are ensuring that green policies and practices remain a part of their activities and services even in the midst of a recession. This may be driven by a desire to cut costs, stiff competition to win contracts from increasingly green-aware clients, or the expectations and commitment of the organisation’s own employees.

Their commitment is captured uniquely through the employee survey. The Green List is not the only environmental contest open to companies, but it is the only one that includes a measure of workforce engagement with a business’s green initiatives. Their increased dedication to green issues is reflected in the rise in average employee scores this year from 69.8% to 73.4%.

For example, this year we see more employees agreeing with statements such as “My organisation’s environmental commitments are at the heart of how the organisation operates” and more disagreeing with “How I do my job has no bearing on the environment” and “Environmental initiatives are a waste of money”. On this more practical note, we see more staff disagreeing with “My organisation produces too much waste” and more agreeing with “My department is audited for its environmental performance”.

Increased commitment to environmental training and leadership is also evident, with more employees in 2009 than in 2008 agreeing with “I have received adequate environmental training” and “My boss leads by example on environmental issues”.

These trends cut across small, mid-sized and large companies, who are all well represented in the 2008 and 2009 Green Lists. As evidence that environment programmes are not only for big players, it is the small organisations that have consistently achieved the highest employee scores in both years.

Companies are responding to the enhanced green expectations of employees and customers by innovating furiously in an attempt to drive the green agenda forward.

Innovative schemes revealed in this year’s Green List include:

n Rewarding staff with an extra five minutes’ holiday for every commute completed on foot or by bicycle to a maximum of 2.5 extra days holiday per year (Forster);

n Inflating tyres with nitrogen rather than compressed air, which is proven to make them last longer and retain their pressure longer (Computer Cab);

n Achieving a 25% reduction in the use of non-degradable plastic carrier bags by removing them from the checkouts (Asda);

n Allowing 11,000 staff to work from home, and equipping 64,000 to allow them to work flexibly (BT Group);

n Heating workshops using a biomass boiler fuelled by waste wood and sawdust generated from the manufacture of beds (Warren Evans);

n Offering a “green allowance” cash incentive to employees to give up a head office car parking space and use public transport instead (Coca-Cola Great Britain).

The competition findings echo the experience of those of us working in the environment and sustainability sector in 2009.

Ten years ago, climate change was not a mainstream issue, and it was a real struggle to convince clients of the business case for good environmental management and the benefits of embedding environmental protection within projects.

The mood has changed. It is now expected that environmental considerations are part of the decision-making process, by staff and management alike, for organisations of all types and sizes.

The best green companies awards recognise and celebrate this change, and applaud the success of those organisations that have modernised their culture and practices to embed the environment in what they do.


  1. Anonymous said...
    people should come forward to contribute more to the environment
    RennyBA's Terella said...
    Interesting read with a loot of good green contributions!

    I work in the Norwegian Computer Society and we are focusing on Green IT.
    Juan said...
    hi Alom.
    Very interesting blog. Thanks for your visit. I'll be back.
    siska said...
    nice and good post friend!!
    Shinade aka Jackie said...
    I am just thrilled to see that finally America is waking up and our government is pushing green technology.
    It is a struggle though. So many are so fearful of the transitional period economically as we move away from our dependence on oil!!

    Great post!:-)
    Empty Streets said...

    Thanks so much for dropping by at Empty Streets 1027 via Entrecard :)Am here to return the favor and to see what great stuff you have here :)

    Hope to see yah around again and do enjoy your week :) xoxo

    Empty Streets 1027
    raj said...
    very helpful to control the pollution... useful blog
    Work from home

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