Brits revealed to be more green at home than in the workplace

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 19 Nov 2009 13:24, Last updated: 2009-11-19
Recycling more commonplace at home than office

Brits are happy to recycle and follow green practices at home but leave their environmental conscience at the door when they arrive for work.

That’s the conclusion of a new survey by Matters out today which highlights how attitudes towards recycling and energy saving differ between the home and the workplace.

For instance, just over 40% of people said they recycled plastics at home but not at work, with women being the worst culprits. Similarly, other poor workplace practises include unnecessarily printing out emails (21%) and putting recyclable items into the non-recycling bin (21%).

The impact isn’t simply on the environment though. Defra figures indicate that UK businesses could save £6.4 billion each year by implementing resource efficiency measures that are of no or very low cost.

Simple steps such as turning down thermostats, turning off lights and addressing dripping taps can help Britain’s businesses to save money and be more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, in today’s increasingly environmentally aware society, these steps can have a positive knock on effect on corporate reputation and the way customers value a business.

Defra launched a campaign this month to urge small businesses to cut down on waste, and reduce energy and water use, in order to reap the financial benefits. The campaign, which stresses 'Saving money – it’s your business', illustrates how simple environmental actions translate into cost savings.

This is being supplemented with clear practical advice for businesses on how to integrate resource efficient practices into everyday working life.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said: "Small firms are facing challenging times, today more so than ever. Finding ways to save money will help businesses retain a competitive edge. Being sustainable is now essential – for your bottom line and for the environment.

"Simple steps like using less energy or considering what you throw away are easy ways to make savings. Resource efficiency is the future for all businesses, large and small."

Channel 4's 'Dumped' guru and eco-design expert Rob Holdway is lending his support to the campaign, and said: "Whether it’s turning off lights, turning down thermostats, cutting down on rubbish, or addressing dripping taps – small sized catering and hospitality firms are ‘leaking’ money through bad use of their energy, water supplies or waste products.

"Simple steps such as turning off office equipment when it’s not in use, can help businesses become financially fit and environmentally friendly.

"This also has a positive knock-on effect on corporate reputation among consumers. Resource efficiency isn’t rocket science but it does require a shift in culture among the catering and hospitality trade, which I really want to encourage."

The results of the national survey, include:

* 22% put recyclable items into a non-recycle bin on a regular basis

* 21% print out emails when it is not entirely necessary on a regular basis

* 13% leave work without switching their computer off properly on a regular basis

* 33% turn off electrical goods at the end of the day when they are at home but don’t at work

* 18.4% don’t know what their organisation’s policy is or if they undertake any specific measures to be resource efficient

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