Employees call for more support

Employees in the construction and building sector are ready and willing to shrink their workplace emissions but need more support from their employers to do so. According to the findings of a Carbon Trust report into employees’ attitudes to carbon reduction, 64% of employees surveyed from the sector said they wanted to cut their carbon emissions but wanted more guidance and empowerment.
Only 22% of respondents said they thought their organisation was doing enough to cut its emissions and more than two thirds (70%) said their employer had made no attempt to encourage them to consider ways of reducing their emissions by taking alternative transport to work.
The good news is that empowering employees does not need to be costly and the results can have an almost immediate impact. While more than four-fifths (85%) of those surveyed from the construction and building sector said there was no training in place to teach them how to reduce emissions, of those employees in all sectors that had been trained, an overwhelming 93% rated it as ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ useful. Many employees in the construction and building sector are not waiting for permission to take action with more than a third (40%) having already taken personal steps to reduce their emissions at work in the last 12 months.
According to Hugh Jones, Solutions Director at the Carbon Trust, simple initiatives like staff training and appointing a ‘Carbon Champion’ can really help to trigger action in employee teams.
“Our research shows that those in workplaces where a ‘Carbon Champion’ has been appointed say it encouraged more action to reduce emissions. You can put in a new energy-efficient boiler, or install low-energy light bulbs, and those will make a difference, but many of the measures that will have the biggest impact and achieve the greatest savings require buy-in across your workforce.
“In the current economic climate it’s never been more important for all businesses, of all sizes, to act on climate change. With savings of up to 20% to be made on energy bills through no cost or cost effective measures it makes perfect business sense to empower employees to do their bit both at work and at home.
“You need your teams to think twice before printing documents, to turn off their PCs and lights at the end of the day, to participate enthusiastically in recycling schemes and to consider the carbon footprints of the method of travel they use and the products they source.”

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