Majority of UK workers motivated by climate change

Tackling climate change has been named as a top motivator for a majority of employees, and companies could gain an advantage in the war for talent if they take note.

Research from climate change research firm Kite Insights, via its sustainability education programme The Climate School, found 93% of UK workers said tackling climate change was key to their motivation and wellbeing, with 78% ready to tackle the climate crisis at work. 

Fighting climate change was such an important issue that 10% of workers said they would be willing to leave their job if no tangible action was taken.

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The research follows a report from the UK's Climate Change Committee this week which said the government was failing to act on the policies needed to reach the country's net zero greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Sophie Lambin, CEO and founder of The Climate School and Kite Insights, said that employees recognise that a social conscience is critical to more than just their personal ambition.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: "Employees recognise climate change is a threat to life on the planet. Beyond personal motivation to act, employees also know it’s important to their companies’ success.

"Our research revealed that employees’ top reasons for thinking their companies should act on climate are customer expectations and helping their organisation be more successful in the future. They want to be part of a winning team, and they see climate action as vital to the transformation."

Many workers were unaware of their company's efforts to fight climate change, as 61% couldn't explain their organisation's climate commitments, while 35% thought their employers weren't doing enough.

Shuvo Saha, chief product and growth officer at Kite Insights told HR magazine that the most important thing businesses can do is educate themselves on climate issues.

Saha said: "Businesses that measure and understand their workforce’s climate knowledge will be best placed to develop learning and engagement programmes that match employees’ environmental goals. .

"When you give them [employees] the scientific facts, the human context of the climate crisis and the tools to act at work, they’ll be better prepared to shape the company’s future as well as feel motivated and satisfied in their job."

Kite Insights surveyed 7,134 employees across 10 countries, including the UK, Belgium, Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa, and the US. The UK accounted for 500 respondents.