October 29, 2019
A new survey commissioned by Perkbox Insights claims that 89 percent of adults experience ‘green guilt’ – a phenomenon stemming from the extensive environmental consequences of modern life, which brings moments when you know you could, and should, be doing more to help the planet. The study also suggests that this phenomenon strikes most commonly at work, as 61 percent of adults feel guilty for the environmental impact of the industry or job they work in. This isn’t just causing people to live with these feelings, it’s also making people rethink their careers and consider a change of job. The findings revealed that over 1 in 10 (12 percent) have considered changing their jobs due to the effects that their work has on the environment.
What’s more, almost a quarter (23 percent) of employed adults state that their workplace doesn’t focus on acting sustainably and a whopping 83 percent act more sustainably at home than they do at work. Looking into why adults don’t act as sustainably at work as they do at home, over 1 in 10 stated that their ‘colleagues don’t act sustainably so it doesn’t feel worthwhile’ – showing that we might be a little too easily swayed when it comes to our environmental efforts. Another 14 percent feel that it’s hard to make a difference as their company doesn’t ask for feedback, while 33 percent feel that they don’t have the means to be as environmentally friendly as they would like to at work.
On an industry level, the retail, catering and leisure industries have been found to be most likely to cause their employees to experience green guilt. 80 percent of those who work in these industries feel guilty about the impact that their work is having on the environment. This causes the statistic of those who have considered a change of job due to it’s impact to jump to over 1 in 5 in these industries. This is followed by 18 percent who work in the Travel and Transport industry who have also considered changing jobs.
By contrast, a quarter don’t experience any feelings of guilt as their work tries to minimise its environmental effects, while just 6 percent state that they work in a sustainable industry.
Image by João Galhanas