Report: Employees believe companies must do more to tackle sustainability

A new report by sustainability expert, Dr Leyla Acaroglu, and next generation experience platform Unily have launched the Future of Workplace Sustainability Report, which explores how sustainability, climate change and COVID-19 are shaping the future of the workplace.

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In the fashion industry, global demand for apparel and footwear is expected to grow to 102 million tonnes in volume and USD3.3 trillion in value. Earlier this year findings from the Global Fashion Agenda, Boston Consulting Group, and Sustainable Apparel Coalition demonstrate that fashion companies are not implementing sustainable solutions fast enough to counterbalance negative environmental and social impacts of the rapidly growing fashion industry. Their employees would seem to agree.

As part of Dr Acarogly’s report a survey was conducted with Censuswide to establish and highlight how these global trends are affecting how employees feel about sustainability within the workplace. The result underscored the need for change with 83 per cent of respondents believing that their company is not doing enough to tackle these big issues.

Jo Skilton, Chief Customer Officer at Unily, commented, “COVID-19 has been a real catalyst for change, and transformation globally. We have spoken to many companies over the years, keen to change how they work, but they have never “had to” change before, so COVID-19 has accelerated that “need to” change.

Dr Leyla Acaroglu, explained, “Ways of working have changed dramatically over the last 100 years. From farming to factories to technology and now services, we live in an age of rapidly evolving disruptions to where, how and why we do work. We wanted to create this report with Unily in order to provide answers for the changes and challenges that this decade will bring for business. Every organisation will be at a different stage, as this report highlights the ways to engage with sustainability and multiple opportunities to lead through these complex times. The most important thing is getting started, and this report will support you in gaining the insights and advantages of establishing a journey towards a sustainable workplace.”

As part of the report, 2,000 UK based office workers, from graduate entry level jobs through to Senior Manager level, were surveyed by Censuswide in August 2020. Respondents were asked their views on sustainability trends within their workplace.

Some of the key findings were:

65 per cent of respondents are more likely to work for a company with a strong environmental policy.
72 per cent of office workers are concerned about environmental ethics. When asked to what extent they feel their company is fighting climate change, 83 per cent of
respondents felt their company is not doing enough or could do more.
63 per cent of those surveyed would like to learn more green skills to become more valuable in the workplace.
80 per cent of office workers said their company’s environmental values are either not aligned or only partially aligned with their own.

Megatrends

These are the massive cultural shifts that unfold in real time creating identifiable patterns that can be observed and interacted with as they emerge and evolve to affect society at large. There are several societal level megatrends that are affecting the ways we work and the types of business models that will be successful in the future. These include elements such as climate change adaptation, transition to the circular economy, resource scarcity and worker and supply chain equity and the zero waste movement.

Forces for Change

The COVID-19 crisis is emerging entirely new ways of working, living and doing business. Before this, the foundations for massive disruption were already being laid out for businesses, with several forces of change playing out including Climate change, 2030 Global Goals, The Green Recovery, the 4th industrial revolution towards tech and the global health crisis.

To view the full report, please visit Unily.com. Photo by Markus Spiske via Pexels

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