Survey: Most Americans Think Companies 'Greenwash' Reality

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of staffing and recruitment firm Adecco USA in recognition of Earth Day 2008, 59 percent of workers think their company should do more to be environmentally friendly and 68 percent believe that what most companies say in regard to environmental initiatives doesn't always match their actions, a practice the survey calls "greenwashing."

Adecco says that, following a year in which the "green" movement has dominated headlines, American workers are paying "growing attention" to companies' environmental policies, and an increasing number (36 percent) report that they would be more inclined to work for a "green" company. However, all of the survey's major demographics closely agree that "greenwashing" is a reality in today's workplace.

The survey also found that even though the majority of workers think their company should do more to be environmentally friendly, they don't necessarily want to pay for it. Only 31 percent of workers would be willing to sacrifice a portion of their salary to work for an environmentally friendly company, with Gen Y workers saying they would sacrifice, on average, 6.2 percent of their salary--more than double the amount any other generation of workers would be willing to give up (Gen X and Boomers would be willing to sacrifice 2.8 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively). Also, women and Gen Y expect more: While more than three out of five working women (63 percent) and Gen Y workers (69 percent) want their company to be more environmentally friendly, a smaller majority of men (54 percent) and Boomers (52 percent) feel the same, Adecco said.

Harris conducted the Adecco Earth Day 2008 survey online between March 28 and April 1, 2008 among 2,281 adults ages 18 and older. For a complete copy of the results, contact Anthony Guerrieri at anthony.guerrieri@adeccona.com.

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