Workers willing to take pay cut for sustainability-conscious employers

22nd April 2021


Istock 2019 06 05

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Skills ,
  • Sustainability ,
  • Society

Author

Deborah Shaw

Nearly half of workers would accept a lower salary to work for an organisation that is socially and environmentally responsible, a survey of over 14,000 consumers in nine countries has uncovered.

The findings also suggest that almost three-quarters of employees and employment seekers are more attracted to companies that are environmentally sustainable, with COVID-19 having made this all the more important.

Nine out of 10 respondents said that the pandemic had affected their views on environmental sustainability, more so than disasters due to weather events and news coverage on the topic, while half are now willing to pay a premium for sustainable brands.

Dr Murray Simpson, global lead for sustainability, climate and transition at IBM Global Business Services, which carried out the survey, explained how companies are now having to adapt to reflect their customers' principles.

“The survey showed respondents worldwide are increasingly concerned about the global climate crisis, and we have also observed businesses in many industries looking to take action to meet their customers’ and investors’ expectations and manage their own environmental goals,” he continued.

“We see many companies beginning to make strides to build transparent supply chains or improve energy management to reduce carbon emissions with the help of innovative technologies like AI and Blockchain.”

The survey was carried out in the US, UK India, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Brazil and China, with 73% of respondents saying that climate change is now very or extremely important to them.

The findings come just one day after separate research published by sustainability consultancy Anthesis suggested that more than half the UK workforce sees sustainability as an important factor when choosing a company to work for.

Its study of over 1,000 adults also found that 40% of workers are disappointed by the lack of effort and resource put into sustainability by their employer.

And despite the latest government figures estimating that businesses collectively spent £2.5bn on environmental protection, 31% feel that their employer still views sustainability as merely a 'tick box' exercise.

“Sustainability must become an integral part of an organisation's business strategy,” said Brad Blundell, UK managing director at Anthesis. “Whilst addressing some of the world's most pressing problems, it also impacts brand reputation and talent attraction,

“Some of the most sustainable companies are also the most profitable. After the uncertainties of 2020, organisations need to refocus their ambitions, make up for lost time on their sustainability goals, and double down on their efforts to reach net zero.”

Image credit: iStock


Transform articles

Agency prosecution brings largest fine for a water company

The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted Southern Water for thousands of illegal raw sewage discharges that polluted rivers and coastal waters in Kent, resulting in a record £90m fine.

23rd September 2021

Read more

In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

30th July 2021

Read more

Thames Water has been fined £4m after untreated sewage escaped from sewers below London into a park and a river.

30th July 2021

Read more

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to increase by 4% over the next 10 years, despite the carbon intensity of production declining. That is according to a new report from the UN food agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which forecasts that 80% of the increase will come from livestock.

30th July 2021

Read more

Half of consumers worldwide now consider the sustainability of food and drink itself, not just its packaging, when buying, a survey of 14,000 shoppers across 18 countries has discovered. This suggests that their understanding of sustainability is evolving to include wellbeing and nutrition, with sustainable packaging now considered standard.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.

5th July 2021

Read more

IEMA has today urged the UK government to focus on developing green skills and expertise across business, industry and civil society following the publication of an alarming report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

16th June 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert