Matt Davis, a researcher from Leeds’ Centre for Organisational Strategy, Learning and Change (COSLAC), says: “Despite an abundance of literature advising us on how to transform our personal lifestyles and make our homes more environmentally friendly, we have discovered a distinct lack of studies relating to greening the workplace.
“According to recent government statistics, the carbon output of the non-domestic sector is significantly higher than that of residential consumers. Industry and commerce also produce around three times the amount of waste as households do.
“Our research shows that whilst companies are beginning to adopt high level corporate sustainability policies, there has not been a big push on encouraging individual employees to make their working practices more sustainable. So, for example, whilst separate waste bins may be provided, there is no real incentive for workers to use them in the correct way.”
The research indicates that the problems associated with promoting greener ways of working could be solved using techniques that organisational psychologists have used successfully in the past to tackle other behavioural issues in the workplace.
For example, the paper suggests that firms should encourage employees to voice their concerns about processes and systems that are wasteful and, ultimately, to make suggestions for change. Working in this way has previously been successful because employees are directly involved with the process of change and therefore more willing to implement it. Other suggestions include amending staff appraisal systems to include environmental targets and giving key individuals special responsibilities with rewards for meeting green goals. These are all low-cost measures.
Co-researcher Rose Challenger says: “As organisational psychologists we already know that workers generally respond positively to new measures when they are introduced in such a way that increases their own empowerment and in a sensitive and integrated manner. It’s now vital that we find ways of incentivising greener working practices.
Any changes made would not only be environmentally beneficial but would also develop a profitable and highly worthwhile business area.”
Those involved are now working with Arup, an internationally-renowned engineering and consulting firm, to explore further opportunities to develop these theories and test some practical interventions and incentives.
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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