A UCLA study has revealed going green may not only boost a company’s street cred among consumers, its employees become more productive too.
The improvement all comes back to appreciation of the workplace.
“Employees in such green firms are more motivated, receive more training, and benefit from better interpersonal relationships. The employees at green companies are therefore more productive than employees in more conventional firms,” says Professor Magali Delmas, an environmental economist at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
Professor Delmas and Sanja Pekovic from France’s University Paris–Dauphine collected data from a survey of employees at 5,220 French companies that had adopted international standards and certifications such as “fair trade” and “organic”.
They found a 16 percent higher-than-average labor productivity in firms that voluntarily adopted environmental standards.
Professor Delmas also noted MBA students these days often don’t want to work just to rake in cash, but to make a positive difference.
The findings give added meaning and credibility to the concept of what’s known as the Triple Bottom Line approach to business (People, Planet, Profit).
I think some companies are turned off going green by the prospect of it perhaps being expensive or complicated; but a business doesn’t have to go all crunchy-granola uber- tree hugger about it – and keeping the environment in mind can actually save money.
For example, simple energy efficiency initiatives can cut running costs, as can reducing water consumption, packaging etc. etc. etc. You don’t have to get involved with formal programs in order to benefit your bottom line – and your workplace environment.
Getting employees involved in the process, consulting with them rather than just laying down the “thou shalt be green” can also contribute to a more vibrant and positive work place. An employee with passion is a valuable resource.
The study report, “Environmental Standards and Labor Productivity: Understanding the Mechanisms That Sustain Sustainability,” can be viewed here (PDF) .