Save the planet, workers tell bosses, but don't ask us to pay

Apr 26 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Nearly six out of 10 British workers believe their employers should donate a higher proportion of their profits to the protection of the environment, new research has suggestions.

Yet, hypocritically, nearly eight out of 10 said they would not be prepared to sacrifice their own benefits to help the environment, said the study by travel consultancy Portman Travel.

An initiative, Portman Forest, has been launched by the group to combat greenhouse gases caused by business travel.

It is estimated UK workers racked up 26.5 billion miles flying on business last year, enough to travel more than 600 times to Mars.

The Portman Travel study of more than a 1,000 people also found that 62 per cent of employees believed employers should make a contribution to minimise the climate change impacts caused by business travel.

Yet 77 per cent were not prepared to make a contribution of their own, with only 5 per cent prepared to sacrifice a percentage of their salary and 2 per cent a percentage of their holiday allowance.

More than a third believed their employers showed no or little commitment towards the environment, and 59 per cent felt businesses should donate a higher proportion of their profits to the protection of the environment.

Just 2 per cent felt businesses should contribute less to environmental causes and only 7 per cent believed climate change was extremely important for company bosses, compared with company reputation and profits (62 per cent and 58 per cent respectively).

Portman Forest is a scheme designed to offer businesses and their employees the opportunity to combat greenhouse gases caused by their business travel.

Through a partnership with climate change company The CarbonNeutral Company, Portman Travel will encourage customers to offset their CO2 emissions generated by domestic and international travel by supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable forestry projects around the world.

Graham Flack, Portman Travel managing director, said: "Our research shows that employees demand bold action to protect the environment and that they are expecting their employers to lead the way."