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Are Businesses Doing Enough to Tackle Climate Change?

Ross Kelly

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Climate Change
Helping to tackle climate change is more than just a moral obligation for businesses, their stance on the issue affects employee loyalty.

More than half of UK workers believe businesses are not doing enough to tackle climate change, a new survey has found.

A UK-wide study commissioned by Edinburgh-based ecotech startup, Pawprint, found that 55% of workers believe firms aren’t doing enough to address the issue, marking an increase from 45% in 2019.

Conducted in May, the survey sought employee opinion on how businesses are responding to climate change, as well as the impact this has on employee loyalty.

Just 14% of respondents said they believe UK businesses are doing enough on climate change, with younger females among the most critical of the perceived lack of business action.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of females aged between 18 to 24 claimed that UK businesses simply aren’t playing their part.

Talent Retention

Attitudes towards climate change appear to be having an impact on a business’ ability to attract and retain talent, the survey found.

Around 30% of millennial respondents said they would consider changing jobs if their current employer failed to act on issues such as sustainability.

Similarly, one-third (33%) of employees across all age groups working in travel and tourism said they would change jobs based on their employers’ climate actions.

Overall, 59% of employees say it is important or very important that their employer has a strategy for tackling climate change. Amongst Gen Z employees, this number rises to a staggering 71%.

Christian Arno, founder and CEO of Pawprint, said: “There is a growing desire amongst employees, of all ages and across all industries, to fight climate change.

“This survey highlights the growing need for workplaces to demonstrate their commitment to this too, especially if they are to attract and retain future generations of talent.”

Climate change

Better Business Outcomes

According to Pawprint, employees feel differently across different industries, with 70% of employees in the public sector believing it’s important that their employer has a strategy for tackling climate change.

The public sector ranked highest across the nine industries examined in the study, with professional services and construction tying for second and third at 65%.

However, when questioned about how they would rate their employer in terms of sustainability, only 13% of employees said very good while a further 24% said good.

These statistics are a growing cause for concern, Pawprint noted. This shows that a significant portion (65%) of employees believe their employer is not doing enough – or is sitting on the fence – with regard to climate action.

Interestingly, the Pawprint survey found that 45% of employees believe environmentally-friendly changes to businesses would improve employee performance; further underlining the business case for acting on climate change.

Just 17% of workers surveyed believe that pro-active climate action by businesses would have a negative impact on their performance.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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