UK employees ‘speaking up’ on climate change in the workplace

UK employees are ‘speaking up’ on climate change in the workplace more than ever before, a survey has found.

The findings come from Peakon’s 2020 Employee Expectations report, which studies workplace trends. Peakon analysed more than 14 million employee survey comments from across 160 countries.

In 2019, the number of employee comments that mentioned environment-related issues nearly doubled, up 85% on 2018’s total.

The inaugural report found that, globally, the number of comments on environmental issues jumped 52% in 2019. ‘Plastic’, ‘single-use’ and ‘carbon footprint’ were among the most prevalent topics raised in employee comments worldwide.

The workplace’s youngest employees are leading the discussion around the environment with a 128% surge in climate-related comments from this generation in 2019.

However, the survey also reported large increases in employees of all ages speaking out against climate change, including so-called ‘Baby Boomers’.

Employees in the manufacturing sector are the most vocal around climate change, with Peakon reporting a 595% increase in climate-related comments among manufacturing employees from 2018 to 2019.

The sector has gone from being one of the least vocal on the issue in 2018, to one of the most in 2019.

Peakon CEO and co-founder Phil Chambers said: ‘At a time when “zero waste” has become part of our everyday language, and Google search trends on how to reduce plastic are at a five-year high, businesses need to understand that employees now expect them to take decisive action on environmental issues at work,

‘Addressing social issues like climate change is increasingly becoming an employee expectation, especially among the youngest members of the workforce. Gen Z has grown up amid an unending litany of social and political unrest, and place high value on the ethics, authenticity and social impact of employers today.’

Read the report here.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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