Research: Office workers are demanding greater sustainability, and businesses know they need to do more
Office workers have made positive environmental changes in their day-to-day lives, with more than a quarter (28%) of office workers never using a single use plastic water bottle.
A third of office workers want their workplace to remove single use plastic. Newresearch now reveals employers’ environmental initiatives, or lack thereof, are directly impacting attraction and retention:
· 80% of office workers say it’s important to them personally that their workplace has targets in place to reduce single use plastic
· However, 86% of business leaders believe their company could be doing more to lower its environmental impact
34% want their workplace to remove single use plastic, second only to reducing energy usage (39%), new research by leading water dispenser brand BRITA VIVREAU has revealed.
Office workers have made positive environmental changes in their day-to-day lives, with more than a quarter (28%) of office workers never using a single use plastic water bottle. In turn, employees are demanding that the companies they work for also take action be more sustainable – with one-in-three young people rejecting a job over employers’ weak ESG credentials.
The most common measures office workers take at work to reduce single use plastic are using a reusable bottle (63%), using reusable food containers (52%) and using a water dispenser to refill their bottle (47%).
Single use plastic items for hot and cold drinks are a major source of irritation, with office workers being most frustrated by single use plastic cups (39%), plastic lids on paper cups (37%) and plastic bottles (32%). Culminating in 30% wanting their workplace to get a cold or hot water dispenser to lower the environmental impact.
In addition to objecting to certain single use plastic items in the workplace, over a quarter (27%) do not feel encouraged to reduce plastic in office environments. Time (34%) and cost (23%) are the most common challenges workers personally face in reducing single use plastics in their workplace, followed by remembering to bring in a reusable bottle or container (21%), no recycling facilities (21%), not having a water dispenser to make hot beverages (14%) and lack of support from senior management (14%).
Chris Dagenais, General Manager, BRITA VIVREAU UK, says: “Office workers are demanding that their employers demonstrate efforts to reduce single use plastic and adopt more sustainable practices. Organisations that enable and empower employees to reduce their environmental impact could attract and retain workers who are seeking out more environmentally conscious workplaces. By demonstrating a move towards reducing waste, organisations can show they are aligned with their employees’ values and appeal to the new generation of workers.”
To help businesses achieve these goals, BRITA VIVREAU has launched a mini toolkit providing actionable insight for businesses to reduce their single use plastic.
Taking steps to choose sustainable equipment like a BRITA VIVREAU water dispenser can help cut out single use plastic and reduce up to 86% of CO₂ each year compared to bottled water. A company with 100 employees could save 506kg plastic waste per year by using a dispenser rather than plastic bottled water (the equivalent weight to a newborn grey whale).