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Businesses urged to promote employees' green behaviour

Employees’ behavioural change could save businesses £300m a year and cut landfill, according to a report by consultancy Carbon Trust.

Better use of energy and resources could help businesses save up to £300m per year. Some £49m a year could be spared by cutting the amount of waste sent to landfill by 5%.

Encouraging green behaviour using postitive feedback or financial incentives is essential in achieving those savings, argued the Carbon Trust in its new report.

Richard Rugg, managing director of programmes at the Carbon Trust, said: “Employees are the greatest asset of UK business, but when most of us enter the office, we take far less care to save energy and use resources efficiently than we do at home.

“The good news is that employees are willing to help and by understanding how employees act in the workplace, businesses can unlock significant bottom line savings.”

However, a survey of 1,135 UK employees conducted for Carbon Trust suggested that only 23% of employees had been asked to help save energy at work by their managers, and just 13% had been rewarded by their employers for doing so.

Only 22% of employees knew what actions to take and just 16% were sure they had the authority to do so.

“Using techniques from behavioural psychology to encourage staff to take simple actions on workplace energy consumption, travel and waste employers can help deliver significant reductions,” said the Carbon Trust.

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