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Encourage office workers to be more sustainable

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As businesses aim to improve the sustainability of their workplaces, they need to find new ways of engaging employees, it has been suggested.

Martin Hunt, head of networks and partnerships at Forum for the Future, said it is important to take steps to stimulate better behaviour among people using the building.

One of the ways employers can achieve this is introducing a fun element to sustainability.

By coming up with something interesting or different, they may be able to inspire workers to think about how they consume resources, Mr Hunt stated.

“Providing someone with a graph describing energy in the office isn’t particularly exciting,” he noted.

But if companies use workplace competitions or challenges, they may be able to bring about change more effectively.

Employers also need to focus more on improving sustainability in the workplace, Mr Hunt suggested.

“If energy and carbon emissions are a relatively low part of their bill – their operating costs – then perhaps it isn’t as much of an incentive,” he stated.

“If it is a higher percentage of their operating costs and bottom line, they are more likely to focus on it. Actually investing in a bit of time and money will deliver on those savings.”

Mr Hunt said employers want to align what their employees are doing with the values and culture of the business.

“Sometimes people differentiate between home and work. What you are trying to do is break down those barriers,” he explained.

“There are schemes and examples where businesses have actively tried to support their staff, whether that be bike loans or public transport savings or loan schemes – which make it more attractive for people to utilise.”