Survey Says Green is Good for Businesses and Job Seekers
Posted Mar 22 2009 3:37pm
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) released a comprehensive report last week outlining the value of environment and sustainability (E&S) knowledge in the workplace. Not surprisingly, the figures indicate such knowledge is desirable, but the figures also indicate more and more businesses are taking proactive measures to educate employees on energy savings, waste reduction and other E&S related measures.
The survey represents 1354 respondents, with just over 87 percent belonging to the business world in some fashion. Of that segment, 40 percent indicated they were affiliated with a small company of less than 100 employees, 40 percent said they worked with a medium sized company of less than 10,000, while 20 percent were from large organizations with over 10,000 employees. Overall, 65 percent of respondents indicated E&S knowledge was valuable in employees or potential hires, with small businesses placing the most emphasis on such knowledge. A full 78 percent of respondents believe the value of this knowledge will increase within the next five years, with 21 percent saying it will likely stay the same. Virtually none of the respondents felt the value of E&S knowledge would decrease.
The survey didn’t just find value in knowing how to be efficient and environmentally conscious. According to the report, 75 percent of companies actively educate their employees about corporate E&S goals, and 56 percent of those surveyed felt their company had an advanced or very advanced education program in place. Of those without any program, nearly half said there would likely be something in place within the next two years.
The report also includes case studies of select companies, covering an array of E&S subjects. Large and small companies were part of the study, including such business giants as Hewlett-Packard and Wal-Mart.
The study also found that companies have a wide range of approaches when it comes to E&S programs and education, while hurdles such as money and available resources were found to be the main difficulties in establishing programs. Regardless of the approaches or hurdles, the report made one point abundantly clear: Awareness of sustainability, efficiency and environmental responsibility is not just a valuable, but essential function in modern companies.