Social housing staff show ‘lack of’ environmental conscience

40% of those surveyed said that they didn’t worry about energy consumption in the workplace as they “don’t pick up the bill.”

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New research reveals the extent in which those working in the social housing sector take responsibility for their environmental impact in the workplace.

According to commercial drainage experts Metro Rod, over a third of those surveyed admitted to feeling no pressure to take matters into their own hands when it comes to reducing their environmental footprint – with 20% saying that the responsibility fell to senior leaders and management teams.

Also outlined in reports was a large number admitting that they paid no consideration to several issues that have significant impact on building facilities and the working environment.

As a result, 40% of respondents said that they did not worry about energy consumption as they “don’t pick up the bill”, with a further 27% stating that they cared less about recycling at work as it “isn’t their responsibility”.

The social housing employees reported a range of factors that influence their likelihood of being environmentally friendly in the workplace, with 40% saying they were less likely to take their impact into consideration when they are busy.

A further 13% said they didn’t bother at work because their actions would make no difference to their employers’ environmental impact.

The results also highlighted that 38% of those surveyed had admitted to doing on of the following in the workplace:

  • Flushed wet wipes down the toilet
  • Poured fat down the drain
  • Poured uneaten food down the drain
  • Poured oil down the sink
  • Poured grease down a drain

The research also reported that respondent’s attitudes varied significantly in the workplace than at home – with 73% of employees engaging in environmentally friendly practices at home compared with 60% of those at work.

Peter Molloy, managing director at Metro Rod, said: “When you consider the number of hours we spend in the workplace, and the findings we have uncovered, there is significant potential that our collective activity at work has been impacting the environment more than we ever previously realised. And this is becoming a major part of a much wider problem.

“This lack of employee responsibility and culpability, if it is not quickly addressed, will continue to have serious consequences for the environment and ultimately for the UK’s infrastructure.”

He added: “Seemingly exacerbating the problem is a lack of training for social housing employees on the environmental impact that they can have via their actions in the workplace.

“Two in three respondents reported having never received any environmental impact training at work while the same number reported not being involved in shaping their organisations environmental policies.

“We’re making a serious call for organisations to reinforce the collective responsibility we all have to protect the environment from a business point of view, to ensure our UK workforces are playing their part in futureproofing our local and national eco-systems for many years to come.”

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