Survey: Two in five UK workers could switch jobs if employer doesn’t go greener

The majority of workers in the UK appear to care deeply about seeing positive change at the company they work for, with nearly two in five people claiming they are prepared to move companies if the firm they work for doesn’t become greener, according to fresh YouGov research published today.

More than 20,000 adults were quizzed by the pollster as part of a survey commissioned by energy giant E.ON, which attempted to track public attitudes to progress on decarbonisation by both the government and businesses.

Almost three-fifths of survey positive respondents described themselves as passionate about seeing environmental change in the company they work for, with 18 per cent claiming they would be prepared to quit their job if they company didn’t become greener, the research found.

In addition, some 45 per cent of respondents said they wanted to see their employer making the office greener through insulation, solar panels and heat pumps, while 44 per cent said they wanted their company to make recycling easier, and just over a third said they wanted to see disposable plastic banned in the workplace.

Less positively, however, the survey also found that adults in the UK are generally unimpressed by the green investments of local authorities and companies, with just a proud quarter of respondents noting they felt of the communities work and businesses were doing to invest in a low carbon future. Moreover, just seven per cent of respondents said they felt heard to when it comes to decision making on local green investments.

But the research findings suggest UK adults are keen to play a far greater role in making their city more sustainable, with eight out of 10 respondents believing change could be achieved if people worked together, and three in five claiming they wanted more of a say in how taxpayers’ money is invested in green initiatives.

Making homes green and cheaper to run was picked up by 57 per cent of those polled as the top action they wanted to see council leaders pursuing to improve the sustainability credentials of their area. That was followed by efforts to reduce the carbon impact of public buildings – selected by just under half of participants – and a drive to ensure all new builds are constructed to a net zero standard and to create new green spaces, selected by 45 per cent and 44 per cent of respondents, respectively.

Public transport, commercial premises, residential properties and transport hubs were the local services seen to be the most in need of immediate investment to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their energy efficiency, the research found.

The study also notes that the low carbon transformation of cities could soon be a major factor in where people choose to live, with some 16 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to relocate to another area of ​​the country if their home town or city doesn’t become greener in the next five years.

Michael Lewis, chief executive of E.ON UK, said the survey highlighted some uncomfortable truths for both councils and companies.

“Too many people don’t feel listened to or say they aren’t playing a big enough part in decision making when it comes to green investments in their communities, which may be an uncomfortable truth for local leaders and businesses,” he said. “However, the positive news is there’s immense interest and passion among people in helping to make their communities and workplaces cleaner and greener and we should all look to harness that commitment where we can.”

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