Eighty nine per cent of Irish office workers would like their office to be more environmentally friendly, according to a recent survey by Epson Ireland. Ninety two per cent said the main driver in their wish for an environmentally friendly office is concern for the environment with only five per cent citing cost saving from green IT as a motivator. Despite Ireland’s current economic condition, Irish workers still chose a genuine concern for the environment over any financial consideration.
Of these green-friendly office workers, 12 per cent said they wanted to ‘help save the environment’ while 72 per cent 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 which they work for do not have basic environmental policies in place.
Fifty eight per cent of their companies have no strategy to power off communal printers or projectors at the end of the day and 39 per cent said their office did not have a person responsible for turning off devices at the end of the day. A further 19 per cent 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 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 practise 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. 54 per cent still print on one side of the paper (rather than on both sides ), and 37 per cent 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, 41 per cent said the main deterrent was simply ‘habit’, and 34 per cent said ‘convenience’.
Epson’s tips and guidelines for Irish offices to be greener
• Switch off equipment at night.
• Dispose of paper in a separate recycling basket.
• When printing, print on both sides of the paper.
• Recycle ink and toner cartridges.