Green Employees Work Harder

25/03/2013

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A study carried out at the University of California (UCLA) has found that companies that have implemented environmental standards such as ISO 14001 and Fair Trade are experiencing the knock-on benefit of higher staff productivity levels.

The research, which was carried out by surveying 5,000 French companies, found that when compared to companies not actively taking steps to be greener and more sustainable, employees were found to be 16 times more productive.

Whilst there has been research into how the likes of ISO 14001 have helped reputation, sales and profitability, this is the first known International study of how productivity is affected.

How do green standards improve productivity?

The study followed up on existing research suggesting environmental standards alter the organisation of a firm as it requires changes in staff attitudes, their roles and their responsibilities. This has shown to improve interpersonal and interdepartmental communication and promotes collaborative work, all conducive to creating a more productive workforce.

Certainly, ongoing research into the benefits of implementing environmental standards rebuke the common complaint that becoming a green business creates bureaucracy and overheads.  Professor Magali Delmas, an environmental economist at UCLA‘s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability commented;

“It’s a counterpoint to people thinking that environmental practices are detrimental to the firm…green practices make a company more attractive because so many employees want to work for a company that is green, but we also argue in this paper that it’s more than just wanting to work there – it’s working more.”


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