Environmental Protection

Poll: Workers Skeptical of Companies' Green Motives

Despite widespread publicity about the "greening" of corporate America, barely half (50.8 percent) of American workers say their company has a significant initiative such as carpooling and recycling. Most U.S. workers report being cynical about their employer's motivation for going green, according to new research released by The Marlin Company, The Workplace Communications Experts™.

The Marlin Company's 14th Annual American Workplace Poll was conducted in May 2008 by Zogby International, which surveyed 775 US workers.

Asked why they think companies go green, nearly one-fourth (24.1 percent) said companies went green to save money; 22 percent said they did it to garner positive publicity, and 14.1 percent said they did it to be politically correct. Only 17.4 percent cited social responsibility as the motivation, while 12.9 percent said that companies were going green as a way to counteract rising energy prices.

Moreover, most workers said their employer lagged behind themselves in going green. When asked, "Who's greener, you or your company?" more than 60 percent (63.4 percent) of workers said that they were greener. And more than three-fourths (77.7 percent) of U.S. workers said it was important for them to have an employer that was going green in a significant way.

"Companies need to do more than talk about green initiatives," said Frank Kenna III, chief executive officer and president of The Marlin Company. "It takes more than high-profile ads to make it happen. It's really about making a commitment to changing behavior -- both in the workplace and our private lives. Employees need to see that their company is serious about it. That means concrete actions such as in-house programs for saving energy and recycling, promoting carpooling and public transportation, 4-day work weeks, and educating employees on home-energy conservation.

"Being green is an important part of many employees' lives and companies do a disservice to themselves and their employees by not acknowledging that," said Kenna. "Workers easily see through hypocrisy and lip service, and that certainly applies to green programs, too."

For complete results, visit http://www.themarlincompany.com/MediaRoom/Releases/GoingGreen2008/GreenQuestions.pdf

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