A recent study published this week shows that companies that have adopted voluntary eco-friendly standards see increased productivity from employees.
Authors Magali Delmas from UCLA and Sanja Pekovic from France’s University Paris–Dauphine are the first to study the relationship between employee productivity and an organization’s environmental commitment.
Delmas and Pekovic collected data from a French survey of 5,220 firms, paying particular attention to employee training and interpersonal contacts. “Employees in such green firms are more motivated, receive more training, and benefit from better interpersonal relationships,” Delmas reported. “The employees at green companies are therefore more productive than employees in more conventional firms.”
Their study showed employees at these green firms were 16 percent more productive than employees at other firms. “Adopting green practices isn’t just good for the environment,” Delmas said. “It’s good for your employees and it’s good for your bottom line.”
Delmas and Pekovic’s research contrasts a common belief that going green will be detrimental to a company. “Green practices make a company more attractive because so many employees want to work for a company that is green,” Delmas said, “but … it’s more than just wanting to work there—it’s working more.”
In an article from the UCLA Newsroom Delmas describes the increased productivity as being a result of employees’ appreciation of their workplace and of the company’s open-mindedness.
The findings, “Environmental Standards and Labor Productivity: Understanding the Mechanisms That Sustain Sustainability,” are published online in the Journal of Organizational Behavior.
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