Is The 'Green' Movement in the Workplace Fact or Fiction?

Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:44am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Majority of Americans Believe Most Companies Engage in 'Greenwashing' & More
Than Half Feel Their Company Should Do More to be Environmentally Friendly

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest Adecco USA Workplace
Insight survey, conducted in recognition of Earth Day 2008, reveals that,
following a year where the "green" movement has dominated headlines, American
workers are paying growing attention to companies' environmental policies and
an increasing number (36 percent) report that they would be more inclined to
work for "green" companies.
    However, despite the progress made in corporate America in terms of
eco-friendly practices, 59 percent of workers think their company should do
more to be environmentally friendly and a majority of all adults (68 percent)
believe what most companies say in regard to environmental initiatives doesn't
always match their actions.    Other key findings of the survey include:

    -- No Divide on "Greenwashing":  The majority of all U.S. adults (68
       percent) think that most companies say they are more environmentally
       friendly than they actually are.  This sentiment does not change widely
       by age, gender or geography, with all major demographics closely
       agreeing that "greenwashing" is a reality in today's workplace.
    -- Giving Up "Green" to "Go Green"?:  Even though the majority of workers
       think their company should do more to be environmentally friendly, they
       don't necessarily want to pay for it.  Only 31 percent of workers would
       be willing to sacrifice a portion of their salary to work for an
       environmentally friendly company, with Gen Y workers saying they would
       sacrifice, on average, 6.2 percent of their salary -- more than double
       the amount any other generation of workers would be willing to give up
       (Gen X and Boomers would be willing to sacrifice 2.8 percent and 2.5
       percent respectively).
    -- Women and Gen Y Expect More:  While over three out of five working
       women (63 percent) and Gen Y workers (69 percent) want their company to
       be more environmentally friendly, a smaller majority of men (54
       percent) and Boomers (52 percent) feel the same.

    "As the phrases 'environmentally friendly' and 'employer of choice'
continue to become more closely aligned, job seekers are increasingly looking
into a company's 'green' policies as part of their job search process," said
Tig Gilliam, Chief Executive Officer at Adecco Group North America.  "Similar
to investigating a company's financial performance and work/life programs,
we're seeing more and more candidates doing their homework and looking closely
to determine the reality behind a company's claims of environmental
    For job seekers who are looking to identify how credible a company's
"green" initiatives are, Adecco provides some insight on how to best go about
this research:
    1. Review "green" company rankings:  A number of non-profits and
       publications conduct rankings of the most environmentally conscious
       companies, providing a valuable reference point when evaluating job
       offers. For example, both BusinessWeek and non-profit Greenpeace
       evaluate and rank the environmental-friendliness of major companies and
    2. Talk to employees at the company.  Who better to speak to a company's
       environmental-friendliness than its own staff?  If being "green" is
       important to you, ask current employees you're in contact with what
       they know and what they're seeing at the workplace -- their reaction
       will be a true testament to what's actually happening at the company.
    3. Seek out examples.  To help separate what's being said and what's being
       done, in your conversations with employees and research, look for
       actual examples of a company's environmental policy come to life -- has
       there been a car pool or tree planting drive recently?  Have more
       recycling bins or eco-friendly light bulbs been distributed?
    4. Find out if business processes are aligned with eco-friendly
       initiatives:  If you're interested in working for a car manufacturer,
       find out if they have a hybrid program.  Or, if companies in the
       consumer electronics industry interest you, see if they manufacture
       "green electronics."
    5. Study the company's website, annual and corporate sustainability
       reports: Companies that have a serious environmental program showcase
       it through various sources including their website as well as in their
       annual reports. Review these resources to understand the extent of
       their environmental program and whether it aligns with your principals.

    For a complete copy of the Adecco Earth Day 2008 survey results please
contact Anthony Guerrieri at
    Survey Methodology:
    This Corporate Environmental Responsibility survey was conducted online
within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Adecco USA between
March 28 and April 1, 2008 among 2,281 adults ages 18+, of whom, 2,198 have
ever looked for a job or intend to do so in the future, and 1,422 are
currently employed full-time and/or part-time.  This online survey is not
based on a probability sample and therefore no estimates of theoretical
sampling error can be calculated. For complete methodology, including
weighting variables, please contact Anthony Guerrieri.
    Adecco S.A. is a Global Fortune 500 company and the world leader in
workforce solutions. The Adecco Group network connects over 700,000 associates
with business clients each day through its network of over 33,000 employees
and 6,600 offices in over 70 countries and territories around the world.
Registered in Switzerland, and managed by a multinational team with expertise
in markets spanning the globe, the Adecco Group delivers an unparalleled range
of flexible staffing and career resources to corporate clients and qualified
    Adecco is the workforce solutions leader in the United States and Canada,
with a comprehensive service offering that includes temporary and contract
staffing, permanent recruitment, outplacement and career services, recruitment
process outsourcing, training and consulting.
    In addition to its administrative, clerical and light industrial staffing
services, Adecco operates the following specialty divisions:    -- Engineering
& Technical
    -- Finance & Accounting
    -- Information Technology
    -- Medical & Science
    -- Legal
    -- Human Capital Solutions
    -- Government Solutions
    -- Transportation

    Adecco S.A. is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH001213860) and listed on
the Swiss Stock Exchange with trading on virt-x (SWX/VIRT-X: ADEN) and
Euronext Paris - Premier Marche (EURONEXT: ADE).
    Additional information is available at the company's website at
    Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a
long and rich history in multimodal research, powered by our science and
technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris
Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and
Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more
information, please visit
SOURCE  Adecco Group North America

Jacqueline Chen Valencia, Vice President, Public Relations, Adecco Group North
America, +1-917-572-8666,; or Anthony Guerrieri,
Director, Public Relations, Adecco Group North America, +1-917-434-4296,
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