Study: Most Companies Now Measure Green Savings

Three out of five employers (60 percent) are measuring their cost savings from environmental programs, up from 39 percent last year, according to a survey by Buck Consultants, a subsidiary of Xerox.

The Greening of the American Workplace 2010” found that savings are widespread at American companies, with 78 percent of respondents reporting electricity cost savings, two-thirds indicating heating/cooling and paper savings, and 60 percent cutting costs on water.

Overall, 69 percent of respondents have green programs in place, up from 53 percent last year. Nearly six in ten respondents indicated that the economic downturn had no impact on their green workplace initiatives while 19 percent expanded such programs during the recession.

Cost savings were cited as the leading motivator for environmental programs at 78 percent, followed by the creation of community goodwill (58 percent) and employee engagement/morale (56 percent).

Among the organizations that have a formal green program, the most common practices are:

  • Recycling and paper reduction (97 percent)
  • Web and/or teleconferencing (95 percent)
  • Healthy living and wellness (85 percent)
  • Internal green communication programs (81 percent)
  • Light sensors (75 percent)

The survey also found that the proportion of respondents tracking stakeholder feedback on environmental and social responsibility programs has doubled from one year ago, to 62 percent.

Leadership is a critical factor for the success of green workforce initiatives, Buck said – 88 percent of companies with such programs include the CEO in development and communications, while 91 percent have appointed a dedicated leader for their green efforts.

Among employers that provide incentives to encourage green behaviors, 43 percent provide special employee recognition, 19 percent give prizes, and 14 percent provide a monetary reward.

Buck surveyed over 100 organizations, representing a wide range of industries including financial services, manufacturing, health care, and non-profits.