Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Greening the Office

Persuade staff to toe the green line at work and tackle climate change:
that’s the challenge issued to the business community by researchers at Leeds University Business School.

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.

“We strongly believe that climate change is a problem that we could and should devote our skills to, and we are certain that with further research and practice we could make a tangible difference in this area.

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.

Jo Kelly | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Blockchain Set to Transform the Financial Services Market
28.09.2016 | HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

nachricht Paper or plastic?
08.07.2016 | University of Toronto

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>