Workers under pressure to be seen to be green

| Press release
34% of employees forced by their peers to go green.

Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, today revealed the results of a poll it commissioned showing that a third (34%) of employees had been forced by their peers to go green.  However, the research, to identify the most effective incentives to promote staff energy efficiency, found that almost half (42%) of the 1,389 employees questioned by YouGov supported environmental initiatives in the workplace because of their own environmental beliefs.

The polling provides valuable guidance to businesses keen to incentivise staff to reduce energy bills by highlighting how important a factor peer pressure and access to information can be.  In addition to peer pressure, one in five (18%) see ignorance of environmental issues as a key barrier in green initiatives being implemented in the workplace.  Wasteful behaviour by employees in office environments increases energy consumption by 20% costing UK firms over £157 million every year[1].   This is set to climb further with energy prices for businesses having already risen 38 per cent in 2008.[2]

The research highlights that a one-size-fits-all approach to behavioural change is inappropriate.  A variety of factors were identified by the research as potential drivers of green behaviours in the workplace.  Personal success came closely behind personal beliefs and peer pressure with one in six (16%) employees seeing career benefits from being seen to be green, whilst 17 per cent expect direct financial rewards.  Incentives based on personal gain were particular popular with younger workers with one in five (23%) employees between 18 and 24 believing financial rewards are an essential factor in encouraging employees to be environmentally friendly.

James Robey, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Capgemini UK plc, comments: “Achieving the necessary change in business culture requires employee engagement and co-operation.  From our experience, engaging employees and offering them simple, effective ways of changing their behaviours appears to deliver the most significant level of engagement.  This can only be accomplished through strong leadership from the top combined with simple effective systems at the front line.

Across the nation, the West Midlands is seen to have the lowest (34%) inclination to engage in environmentally friendly initiatives, as opposed to London where more than half (52%) of employees share the green beliefs of their employers (see table below).  Nearly half (45%) of those in the South West, the South East and Scotland are also following green initiatives for ethical reasons.


Percentage (%) of respondents who believe employees engage in green initiatives for ethical reasons



South East


South West






North East


Yorkshire and The Humber


East Midlands


North West


East of England


West Midlands


Sector variations

61 per cent of respondents in the Leisure Industry believe employees engage in green initiatives for ethical reasons whilst only one in five (20%) in Agriculture share the same notion.  Financial Services (52%), Professional Services (50%), Leisure (61%), Service Sector (49%) and Public Sector (45%) are all above average (42%) when it comes to believing that ethics is a key driver for their colleagues to follow green policies within the workplace.


Percentage (%) of respondents who believe employees engage in green initiatives for ethical reasons

Leisure Industry


Financial Services


Professional Services


Service Sector


Public Sector












*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2168 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th – 10th September 2008.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)

About Capgemini

Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working - the Collaborative Business Experience - and through a global delivery model called Rightshore®, which aims to offer the right resources in the right location at competitive cost. Present in 36 countries, Capgemini reported 2007 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion and employs over 86,000 people worldwide.

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Press contact:

Tom Barton

Tel.:+44 (0)870 238 2491


James Ralph

Tel.:+44 (0)20 7025 6424




[1] Carbon Trust -

[2] UK Business Advice Barometer -