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3 in 5 people would switch jobs for a ‘greener’ career

A national survey has found that the majority of UK workers would consider leaving their current job for a role they perceive to be greener, with a growing proportion even willing to take a pay cut.


A national survey has found that the majority of UK workers would consider leaving their current job for a role they perceive to be greener, with a growing proportion even willing to take a pay cut.

The survey of more than 3,200 adults by Aviva found that 58 per cent of workers would consider moving jobs for a greener career, and 15 per cent would even be willing to take a lower salary if they were moving to an employer had strong environmental credentials.

The study suggests that the desire for greener jobs and employers is more prevalent in some sectors than others, with workers in finance and engineering the most likely to consider switching jobs (both 70 per cent). The IT and telecoms, legal, manufacturing and utilities sectors also scored higher than the average.

Common initiatives

There was also evidence that employers are becoming greener in response. Three quarters of those surveyed said their employer had made changes to improve its environmental impact in the last five years – although 75 per cent of people within this group said there was still more to do.

The most common green initiatives being put in place by employers include refillable cups for drinks (85 per cent), using video calls to reduce travel (79 per cent), removing single-use plastics from the workplace (77 per cent), going paperless (71 per cent), offering vegan or vegetarian food options (70 per cent), cycle-to-work/bike hire schemes (68 per cent), and hybrid/remote working (67 per cent).

More than a fifth (21 per cent) of workers said they were already participating in initiatives to make their employer more environmentally-friendly, while an additional 50 per cent would like to get more involved in this area.

‘Workers want to do more’

“Sustainability is very much on the radar for businesses large and small and it is positive news that so many UK people are bringing green thinking into their working routines, as well as their personal lives,” said Jon Marsh, managing director of partnerships at Aviva General Insurance.

“A great many employees are already involved in environmental initiatives in their workplace – from simply re-using cups, to limiting unnecessary travel, to making use of electric vehicle leasing schemes.

“Three quarters of workers acknowledge that their employer has made environmental progress in the past five years - but they want to do more to make a difference. This could mean actions taken in a current role or switching to a position with a more environmental focus – but the emphasis on green career ambitions is clear.”

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