Most employers encourage recycling and energy reduction but far fewer take a green approach to transport, according to the latest CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development)/KPMG Labour Market Outlook survey of employers.

Co-author Gerwyn Davies said this week: “UK workplaces are making a real contribution to the environment with quick and easy wins such as recycling and energy-saving schemes.

“However, there is potential for organisations to promote greener transport alternatives and work practices such as home-working to reduce the environmental impact of business travel.

“Where practical this could reduce costs and stress levels for employees and improve productivity for the employer offering a potential win-win situation.”

The study found 91% of employers promote recycling and 83 percent encourage energy use cuts.

But only 45% promote car-sharing while fewer still foster more imaginative methods of reducing travel needs such as home working.

Almost three quarters (70%) of human resources professionals concede their organisation could do more to encourage employees to cut the environmental impact of their travel arrangements.

An incentive for businesses to up their game may be the report’s suggestion the environment can be used as an important tool to recruit and retain workers – especially younger employees.

It found 46% of employers say potential recruits would prefer to join an organisation with a strong environmental policy.

“Reputation and employer brand have risen to the forefront of the HR agenda,” Mr Davies said. “Employers recognise that to be attractive in the talent market place, they need to consider how potential employees will view their environmental and ethical record.

“Employers will therefore need to set an example on the environment to become an employer of choice.”

Almost half of the country’s organisations (44%) have an environmental policy and this is set to rise to 70% in the next year. More than a third (37%) aim to become carbon neutral.

David Gibbs

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