5 Oct 2023

Workers polled on employer's environmental practices and values

4:59 pm on 5 October 2023
Barista preparing a cappuccino

Barista preparing a cappuccino Photo: 123RF

More than two-thirds of New Zealand workers say their employers are not doing enough to care for the environment, with more than half (54 percent) concerned their expectations were not being met when it comes to their employer's sustainability practices.

A Frog Recruitment poll of 955 workers about their employers' environmental values found one in five (19 percent) thought their employer could do more, with just 27 percent believing their employer went over and above to protect the environment.

However, the survey also found 60 percent of employees did not consider working for a sustainable workplace as a top priority when evaluating their employer.

Instead, Frog managing director Shannon Barlow said job security, the cost of living, work-life balance, and personal growth opportunities weighed heavily when it came to workers' employment choices.

However, younger workers under-25 were more concerned about their employers' environmental policies, with a third indicating green work practices were very important to them.

One in five ranked them to be important, compared with two-thirds of workers over 49-years, who said their employer's environmental contribution was not a priority to them.

"The poll tells us almost half of employers are not doing enough in the sustainability stakes," Barlow said.

"There are barriers to transitioning to a greener workplace - it's expensive, there are compliance hurdles, many businesses have a short-term focus, some lack awareness, and, as the survey has shown, employees can resist change.

"However, it feels like we are coming to a tipping point."

Barlow said more consumers and investors preferred to support and invest in companies that were socially and environmentally responsible.

"Adopting sustainable practices can lead to new products, services, and processes that give your company a competitive edge in the marketplace.

"Prioritising environmental protection is not only ethically responsible but also makes good business sense. It can enhance your reputation, reduce costs, attract and retain talent, drive innovation, and position your company for long-term success in an increasingly environmentally conscious world."