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November 2007

London workers drop the ball on waste and energy reduction

London— Despite the fact that London’s waste is forecast to grow to a staggering 23.6 million tons by 2020 nearly half of all Londoners recently confessed to not using the recycling facilities provided within their workplaces. This is despite 83% of respondents claiming that their workplaces provided adequate facilities enabling them to recycle paper, plastic, aluminum and electrical equipment.

It isn’t just recycling initiatives that are being ignored by London workers. More than half said that they were encouraged by employers to ensure they turned off monitors, computers and lights when not in use and that they had been urged to limit their use of air conditioning and heating. Yet over half of those respondents admitted to not following these practices. Despite their employers’ initiatives 86% of London workers said that they were much more aware of energy saving within their own homes due to “being responsible for paying the bills”.

The research was conducted by the organizers of Working Buildings Week, a collection of events dedicated to highlighting the issues surrounding the efficient and effective management of workplaces. As the effects of London’s excessive consumption and waste are being discussed more often and more openly, creating a more sustainable work environment is becoming a board level priority for many of London’s organizations.

“We’re not surprised by the results of this research. We know that sustainability is a key issue that’s being actively addressed by many London organisations, yet what is clearly evident is that a company’s energy-saving initiatives are only as effective as the people implementing them and there is a huge disparity between what people think and what they do,” explains Simon Burton, event manager, Working Buildings Week.

“Everyone says they want to help protect the environment, but changing the way they behave is a different matter. It’s for this reason that there is such a need for initiatives and events like Working Buildings Week, where people can find practical ideas and measures that take the pain out of changing behavior.”

Visitors to the events of Working Buildings Week will learn how to best engage their staff in implementing energy saving and recycling practices.

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