Australian workers want their employers to match their sustainability commitments, according to a new report by Microsoft and a research team led by Dr Chris Brauer, director of innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London.
The Accelerating the journey to net zero report shows that employees support their organisations’ sustainability strategies, with 60 per cent saying that such strategies make an employer more attractive. However, 43 per cent disagree with the execution of plans to reach net zero emissions.
Among the complaints of respondents is the lack of encouragement, with more than a third saying their employer does not incentivise sustainable behaviour. Despite 53 per cent of staff using recycled goods at home and 44 per cent trying to be more energy efficient, only 34 per cent say that their employer encourages them to use recycled goods, and only 14 per cent are incentivised to minimise their energy use while working.
The report also highlighted a lack of sustainability skills. More than 40 per cent of business decision-makers believe that this will impede their organisation’s ability to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Yet the findings also indicate that these leaders are not actively upskilling their existing workforces; only 17 per cent of employees have received training to implement their organisation’s sustainability plans.
“Australian organisations are on board, but off track,” says Brett Shoemaker, sustainability director for Microsoft Australia and New Zealand. “Our study shows that leaders are struggling to operationalise their sustainability plans.”
With over a third of large Australian organisations expected to miss their 2050 net zero targets, the Microsoft report provides a seven-step sustainability blueprint, based on survey findings, insights and interviews with experts including Dr Alan Finkel, special adviser to the Australian Government on Low Emissions Technology.