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Nearly a third of the total number of employees surveyed (32%) agreed that they would only work for an employer that values sustainability. Of that total, 42% of Millennials, 30% of Gen-X, and 21% of Boomers somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement, “I would only work for an employer that prioritizes sustainability.”
About a third of employees (35%) think adopting sustainability practices in the workplace would increase productivity, position their company as a leader (31%) and open up more opportunities for innovation (37%). Forty-three percent think it would improve workplace culture.
In a recent Adobe survey, “Adobe Document Cloud Sustainability at Work Report,” US employees were asked about their views and beliefs about sustainable workplace practices in the present and their hopes for the future of workplace sustainability.
It Depends – Hybrid vs In-Office Employees
Employees’ perception of environmental impact depends on the office environment. Compared to employees who work in a physical office, hybrid and remote workers feel more strongly about commuting (40% and 52% vs. 27%), physical office footprints (40% and 45% vs. 27%) and business travel (26% and 31% vs. 16%) contribute to the environmental impact of their employers.
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But office workers, who are closer to company-wide trash cans, are more concerned about food waste (33%) than hybrid (23%) and remote (16%) workers.
Barriers to Sustainability in the Workplace
However, workers say rising supply costs (64%), supply chain shortages (48%) and geopolitical issues (29%) will pose major challenges to corporate sustainability initiatives over the next five years.
Yet 42% of employees believe their company will spend between $100,000 and $1,000,000 on sustainable alternatives during that time. One in five margin over a million.
Looking to the future of sustainability practices
10 years later, most employees expect sustainability to be fully embedded in their work culture. They believe their companies will renew their internal processes (71%) and have a dedicated sustainability department (64%).
Long story short, employees place great value on realizing sustainable workplaces and lifestyles. More than half (62%) say they will spend up to $10,000 on sustainable alternatives in the next five years and one in five (19%) predict they will spend between $1,000 and $5,000.
Over the next 10 years, they are willing to reduce their plastic use (78%), buy more sustainable products (75%) and their travel habits (53%) and energy source at home (52%). However, they are not quite sold on reducing car travel – only 27% plan to rely more on public transport.
Reducing the environmental impact of workplaces – office, hybrid or remote – is a work in progress, but employees are passionate about getting involved.
Between February 25 and March 14, 2022, the Adobe Document Cloud Sustainability at Work Report surveyed 1,400 knowledge workers at enterprises in the US through a 15-minute online survey.
Read the full report from Adobe.
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