According to the Carbon Trust, employees are increasingly accepting responsibility for helping save money around the workplace, with the majority (87%) saying it is important for them to help their employer cut costs in the current climate, and 78% willing to be more energy efficient to save money. Almost half (46%) of UK employees say they are now more likely to try to help their employer save money than before the credit crunch kicked in.
The research was commissioned by the Carbon Trust as part of its campaign to help businesses save at least £1m a day by saving energy. The ‘One Million A Day’ campaign urges businesses of all sizes to join up and prioritise actions to kick-start immediate energy savings, reduce carbon emissions and make significant direct costs savings. The campaign’s target is to help save the UK economy £1bn over the next three years and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by at least 17 million tonnes CO2 – the equivalent to annual emissions from heating nearly 5.5 million average UK homes.
The Carbon Trust has identified three key areas that employers should focus on:
1. Energy Management – Last year UK businesses working with the Carbon Trust implemented energy saving measures including metering and monitoring, staff awareness and setting board level policies to effectively identify opportunities and monitor results, that will save over £64m a year.
2. Improved Lighting – Installing controls, replacing and upgrading lamps to energy efficient versions and installing motion detectors are a few examples of action that will enable over £11m worth of savings in one year.
3. Efficient Heating – Upgrading inefficient boilers, installing controls, improving insulation and improving maintenance schedules will lead to savings of over £8.5m a year.
Other findings of the research reveal:
whilst individual employees are happy to shoulder some responsibility, they also want their work colleagues to do their bit, with over two-thirds (67%) believing that their colleagues should do more to help save money around the workplace.
* 82% of employees say they regularly or occasionally see colleagues wasting energy – and therefore money – around the workplace.
* Over half (55%) of employers said their employer had never given them advice on being more energy efficient around the workplace.
* Those that had been given advice, 42% said it had made them more energy efficient. 47% said it made them think abut how to be more energy efficient in the workplace
* Employees in the East Midlands are most likely to want to help their employers save money around the workplace, whilst employees in London are least likely to (51% / 42%).
* Men are more likely than women to recognise that they do help employers save money around the workplace (88% / 84%).
Yet, the research also reveals that employers are failing to galvanise their employees’ enthusiasm – almost half of employees (48%) said they would be more willing to help their employer save costs around the workplace if they knew what they could do, whilst 42% would be motivated into action if their employers simply asked for their help.
Commenting on the research, Hugh Jones, Solutions Director at the Carbon Trust, said:
“In this current climate, employers are being forced to make some difficult and at times, painful decisions in order to drive down costs. However, as our survey reveals, employees want to do their bit and are increasingly seeing saving money around the workplace as part of their responsibility too. This could help most businesses save up to 20% on energy bills through low cost or no cost action on energy efficiency.”
“Our research shows that overwhelmingly they’re willing to be more energy efficient. Many companies think of energy as a fixed overhead but saving energy is actually one of the easiest ways to reduce costs. Simply by switching machines off after use, or turning the heating down in warm weather, organisations can make real savings on their energy bill. This is a win-win situation for UK employers.”
Energy and Climate Change Minister, Joan Ruddock, said:
"These results are very encouraging. Climate change has to be tackled. Saving energy cuts emissions and helps save money, this has to make sense for businesses facing the recession. More advice on saving energy and reducing waste is available through the Carbon Trust and the Government's ‘Real Help for Businesses Now’ campaign."