Corporate carbon emissions are causing a great deal of confusion, with UK staff kidding themselves about the green credentials of their employers
Most British staff believe their company is committed to the green agenda, but they are “in denial” over how green their companies are in reality.
So claims UK business ISP Lumison, citing its own research, which found the majority (67 percent) of UK workers believe their company prioritises green issues – yet less than a third of companies carry out a formal carbon audit. In addition, 43 percent of people didn’t even know whether their company had made any formal commitment or audit.
“The research was done over the last three weeks, so it is reasonably fresh data,” said Aydin Kurt-Elli, CEO at Lumison, speaking to eWEEK Europe. “The audience demographic was mostly businesses, corporates, SMEs, partners etc.”
“We had our suspicions of the ‘greenwash problem’ before we started this research,” said Kurt-Elli. “But the sheer volume of people that were unaware of what their companies are doing green wise, is not surprising really.”
Kurt-Elli said that most people were aware of the usual green measures such as recycling bins etc. “But do they know who buys their power, and if there is any carbon off-setting going on?” he asked. “These questions are so far removed from the actual business it is not really their fault, as so much is going on in businesses at the moment, that green maybe is not high priority, especially in these challenging times where cost is everything.”
“Businesses are telling us that green is important, but not at the expense of cost. Most of our feedback is from the ICT side and, for them, ticking the green box in their corporate policy document is not half as interesting as the bottom line,” he said.
Kurt-Elli called for carbon emissions to be appropriately charged. He cited examples that carbon trading schemes for example are currently biased towards large businesses because they get more free credits.
“We did little foot printing work,” he explained. “The total carbon cost of running a unified communication system in our data centre for one whole month equals the same carbon cost as running one flight from Edinburgh to London.”
The study received more than 700 responses in total. Respondents also called for improvements in power saving (79 percent), recycling (49 percent) and green IT (43 percent).