70% of HR professionals admit that their organisation could do more

A clear majority of employers are encouraging recycling and energy reduction but far fewer organisations are green in their approach to transport, according to a new study.

According to the findings, 91% of firms encourage recycling and 83% encourage reduction in energy consumption, but only 45% encourage car-sharing while fewer still encourage their staff to work from home (30%). 70% of HR professionals admit that their organisation could do more to encourage employees to reduce the environmental impact of their travel arrangements.

Gerwyn Davies, co-author of the report commented: “UK workplaces are making a real contribution to the environment with quick and easy wins such as recycling and energy-saving schemes. However, there is potential for organisations to promote greener transport alternatives and work practices such as home-working to reduce the environmental impact of business travel. Where practical, this could reduce costs and stress levels for employees and improve productivity for the employer - offering a potential win-win situation.”

46% of employers say that potential recruits would prefer to join an organisation with a strong environmental policy, while 39% of employers claim that an environmental policy is more important to younger workers.

Davies added: “Reputation and employer brand have risen to the forefront of the HR agenda. Employers recognise that to be attractive in the talent market place, they need to consider how potential employees will view their environmental and ethical record. Employers will therefore need to set an example on the environment to become an employer of choice.”

Mike Kelly, director of corporate social responsibility at KPMG said: “If you want to be a great place to work, then it’s not just about base salary and benefits. People increasingly expect to work in a business which has embedded environmental management systems to effectively manage its environmental impacts and we are finding that it is an issue that is moving up the agenda, especially amongst the graduate community.”

The report also finds that 44% of UK organisations have an environmental policy in place, a figure which is set to rise to 70% in the next twelve months.

The results come from the quarterly CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook survey of 757 employers.