Environmental Protection

Survey Reveals More Employers Measuring Savings from Environmental Efforts

Seventy-eight percent report electricity cost savings, two-thirds indicate heating/cooling and paper savings, and 60 percent are cutting costs on water.

American businesses are measuring the savings from their green workplace practices more than ever, according to a new survey released by Buck Consultants, a Xerox Company.

Buck’s third annual survey, “Greening of the American Workplace,” revealed that 60 percent of organizations are measuring their cost savings from green programs, up from 39 percent last year – an increase of 54 percent. The complete survey is available for a fee.

Survey respondents noted that the savings are widespread throughout the workplace. Seventy-eight percent report electricity cost savings, two-thirds indicate heating/cooling and paper savings, and 60 percent are cutting costs on water.

Overall, 69 percent of survey respondents have green programs in place, an increase from 53 percent last year.

Among the organizations that have a formal green program, the most common practices are:

  • Recycling and paper reduction (97 percent)
  • Web and/or teleconferencing (95 percent)
  • Healthy living and wellness (85 percent)
  • Internal green communication programs (81 percent)
  • Light sensors (75 percent)

“Nearly six in 10 respondents indicate the recession had no impact on their green workplace initiatives while 19 percent actually expanded green programs during the economic downturn,” said Allison Artnak, director at Buck Consultants. “We attribute this to the belief that going green can be good for business and for the bottom line.”

Seventy-eight percent of organizations consider cost savings as the leading motivator for green programs, while the creation of community goodwill (58 percent) and employee engagement/morale (56 percent) round out the top three motivators.

Sixty-two percent of survey respondents now track stakeholder feedback on green programs and/or social responsibility, doubling from just one year ago.

Leadership is a critical factor for success of green workforce initiatives. The survey found that 88 percent of employers with green programs include the CEO in development and communications while 91 percent of respondents appointed a dedicated leader for their green efforts.

Among employers that provide incentives to encourage green behaviors, 43 percent provide special employee recognition, 19 percent give prizes, and 14 percent provide a monetary reward.

The survey analyzed responses from more than 100 organizations in the United States, representing a wide range of industries including financial services, manufacturing, health care, and non-profits. The research was conducted during the fourth quarter of 2010.

Source: Buck Consultants

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