89pc of Irish office workers want a ‘greener’ office

14 Jul 2011

Irish office workers would like their office to be more environmentally friendly, according to a recent survey by Epson Ireland. Some 92pc of respondents said the main driver in their wish for an environmentally friendly office is concern for the environment, with only 5pc citing cost savings from green IT as a motivator.

Of these green-friendly office workers, 12pc said they wanted to “help save the environment” while 72pc of those surveyed said “it’s important to have a responsible approach to the environment”. Despite this concern for better environmental practice, the majority of companies they work for do not have basic environmental policies in place.

Some 58pc of their companies have no strategy to power off communal printers or projectors at the end of the day and 39pc said their office did not have a person responsible for turning off devices at the end of the day. A further 19pc said devices were left on overnight. However, when the workers were asked to pick the one change they believed would make their office greener, the majority (38pc) were not concerned with strategies or policies and simply chose “using energy-efficient products”.

Katrina Timmis, channel manager for Epson Ireland, said: “Irish workers in offices across the country would like to work in a green-friendly environment. While concern for the environment is the main driver for employees, Irish IT managers and company directors might be more interested in the cost savings that can be made from green IT practice and energy-efficient products. With correct print management strategies and green friendly technologies, offices can make a positive impact on both the environment and their bottom line.”

Despite workers’ positive attitude to a greener workplace, the majority still make individual choices which don’t reflect their green aspirations for the office. Some 54pc still print on one side of the paper (rather than on both sides), and 37pc still print off important emails. 

However, the results also show that with some motivation from companies, employees could easily be convinced to make “greener” choices. When asked what held them back from making more environmentally friendly decisions, 41pc said the main deterrent was simply “habit”, and 34pc said “convenience”.