[Skip to content]

FM World logo
Text Size: A A A


Only 9 per cent incentivise staff to save energy © iStock

5 December 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal

There is “a real lack of commitment amongst UK businesses to drive sustainable change” and only 10 per cent have set a carbon reduction target, according to a report by Carbon Credentials.


The energy performance and carbon management firm’s study, The Carbon Commitment Report, shows that out of the 1,000 heads of sustainability and business owners questioned, none had set science-based targets. 


Science-based targets demonstrate a company’s commitment to a low-carbon future and reflect the level of action needed globally to help the world align with the Paris Agreement – the pledge by nearly 200 countries on tackling climate change and a commitment to keep global warming below 2°C.


The report also finds that just under half of companies (49 per cent) use even the most basic sustainability measures, such as recycling bins for office waste.


The findings follow the recent and most comprehensive study to date into climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which made headlines worldwide.


The IPCC report is the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures; leading international scientists saying it is the final call to save the world from climate catastrophe.


Another 1,000 junior managers and below were also questioned and more than half (57 per cent) think their employers aren’t doing enough to involve them in cutting their carbon footprint at work.


The lack of transparency and engagement shown by many organisations means that 74 per cent of employees have no idea what their company’s carbon reduction targets are, and 57 per cent of those questioned say they don’t, or don’t always trust UK organisations to deliver on their sustainability claims.


Just 14 per cent of large businesses with more than 250 employees have set staff personal goals and targets to cut their own workplace carbon footprint, only 9 per cent incentivise staff to save energy at work, and a mere 7 per cent regularly communicate internally the energy savings made and the benefits of any savings to their business and environment.


Only 4 per cent of employees say their organisation links staff bonuses to cut carbon emissions and to save energy at work (despite 66 per cent of employees saying they’d support such a scheme), and only a few offered other incentives to reduce employees’ individual carbon footprint such as increased annual leave, or financial benefits for cycling to work. In fact, just 13 per cent say they have an official company ‘car share’ policy and 12 per cent have a ‘cycle to work’ scheme.