News Release

Businesses Must Lead the Charge on Climate Change Say European Workers

LONDON, UK - September, 5, 2007 - Although the UK, France
Sep 05, 2007

LONDON, UK - September, 5, 2007 - Although the UK, France and Germany are the biggest Co2 polluters in Europe, businesses still aren't doing enough to help the environment, according to a survey of 6,000 European workers by web collaboration experts, WebEx*.

German companies were the worst offenders, pumping out 470 million tonnes of Co2 last year, followed by UK companies with 245 million tonnes and French companies with 118 million tonnes**. Despite this, businesses still do not appear to be taking the challenge of climate change seriously.

Are companies doing enough?

In Britain, 50% of workers surveyed felt that their company was not doing enough to reduce its carbon footprint, a belief shared by 33% of workers in Germany. In France, 46% of workers said that their company was taking no action at all to help the environment.

Despite this, 90% of French employees working in a company that has green initiatives said that it was important to have them. 62% of British workers felt environmental initiatives in companies were important, followed by 70% of German workers – particularly when it comes to business travel.

Willing to change?

Demonstrating how seriously they take the issue of climate change, 63% of UK workers are willing to change their working habits to help the environment. One in ten would even contribute money from their own pockets to make their company more environmentally responsible. In France, this number rose to 93% of workers who were willing to change for the environment – 13% would give up a small amount of pay to help their companies be more environmentally responsible. In Germany 67% of workers would, or have already, changed their business-related travel behaviour to reduce the negative impact on the environment.


Workers were also asked whether they used, or would consider using, technology that can help the environment. In the UK, 12% of workers had trialled web conferencing technology, but only 6% regularly hold meeting online instead of travelling to business meetings. In Germany, 28% of workers would like to use technological alternatives to business travel, such as web conferencing. 73% of workers in France think that remote working could be part of the solution to the climate change problem, and 53% think that web conferencing would be of substantial benefit.

Bert van der Zwan, VP EMEA, WebEx, says: "Despite the fact that October the 30th is the first anniversary of the Stern Review, it seems that businesses aren't yet taking the lead on climate change. Technology provides a huge opportunity for organisations to help the environment with minimal investment. Replacing unnecessary face-to-face meetings with online ones, for example, not only helps the environment, it increases productivity and has a positive effect on a company's bottom line. The enormity of the climate change challenge we face is no longer up for debate – both companies and individuals must take action now."

Employees that think it is important for companies to have green initiatives

Employees that feel their companies aren't doing enough to help the environment

Employees willing to change their working habits to help the environment

*About the research

The surveys were conducted from October 2006 through April 2007. In Germany TNS Infratest interviewed 2.577 employed Germans via telephone. In Great Britain the market researching firm YouGov conducted the online survey among 2,182 employees. The French online survey contributed results from 1.105 employees in private companies.

** Source: European Union, 2007