Being “Green” Has Its Rewards

April 21, 2010 ( - A new survey from Buck Consultants shows that the number of U.S. employers with formal “green workplace” programs rose last year, and many organizations report cost savings.

Buck’s second annual “Greening of the American Workplace 2009” survey found 53% of employers have green programs in place, an increase from 43% last year.   

Companies surveyed identified favorable returns on investment from green programs in their workplace, according to a press release.  Nearly two-thirds of respondents report cost savings related to paper use and electricity.  While 94% of survey respondents list cost savings as the most desired return on investment from green programs, 82% cited community goodwill and 59% mentioned improved stakeholder perception as additional ROI measures.   

Among the organizations that have a formal green program, more than half have implemented the following offerings:

  • Recycling and paper reduction (95%);
  • Web and/or teleconferencing (85%);
  • Healthy living and wellness (80%);
  • Internal green communication program (78%);
  • Online HR communications (72%);
  • Green Web site via organizational intranet (58%);
  • Online Summary Plan Descriptions (57%);
  • Telecommuting (57%); and
  • Rideshare (52%).

The survey found that 80% of employers with green programs include the CEO in development and communications, while 86% of respondents appointed a dedicated leader for their green efforts.   

Among employers that provide incentives to encourage green behaviors, 31% provide special employee recognition, 24% give prizes, and 9% provide a monetary reward.  

“The survey indicates that more companies and their leadership are not only deploying green programs in the workplace but also realize the significant benefits to their business,” said Allison Artnak, director at Buck Consultants, in the press release. “From increased employee involvement to costs savings, the survey is evidence that going green can boost morale and the bottom line.”  

The survey was conducted during the fourth quarter of 2009 and analyzed responses from more than 100 organizations in the United States, representing a range of industries including financial services, manufacturing, health care, and non-profits.