Jon Marsh, MD, Partnerships, Aviva General Insurance

58% of workers keen to move to ‘greener’ pastures 

18% of employees will take a pay-cut to work for an NPO 

According to Aviva’s recent How We Live report, almost two thirds of workers (64%) would consider taking a pay cut if a new role offered other benefits with more than a fifth of workers (22%) stating they would think about taking a lower salary if they had the option to do hybrid working, while almost a third (31%) would do the same if they were able to choose flexible working hours. 

Almost a fifth of workers (18%) reported that they would be prepared to take a wage cut if they were going to work for a charity or not-for-profit organisation and 15% would do so if the company had strong environmental credentials. This view is higher amongst under-25s, with a quarter of people in this age group saying they would consider a lower salary for these reasons. 

Aviva’s previous How We Live report (November 2021) discovered two thirds of employees intend to make changes to their careers in the next 12 months. 

Aside from potential pay-cuts, the study found that around three fifths (58%) of UK workers would consider changing their current role for a “greener” career. 

The study suggested that this attitude is more prevalent in some sectors than others, with workers in finance and engineering / building among those most likely to hold this view at 70% in both cases. 

Industry   Percentage of workers who would consider switching to a “green” career 
Finance  70% 
Architecture, engineering and building  70% 
IT and telecoms  69% 
Legal  64% 
Manufacturing and utilities  63% 
Healthcare  58% 
Education  58% 
Retail, catering and leisure  57% 
Travel and transport  54% 

Green schemes in the workplace 

However, there is increasing evidence that employers are becoming greener with three quarters of workers saying their employer has made changes to improve its environmental impact in the last five years – although 75% of people within this group feel there is still more to do. 

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

The report also reported welcomed news regarding the uptake of existing “green” schemes with current employers with the majority of employees saying that their organisations offer some initiatives aimed at reducing their impact on the planet, ranging from cycle-to-work programmes, to removing single-use plastic from workplaces, to electric vehicle leasing schemes. 

 

Workplace scheme for employees  Percentage of employees saying scheme is offered at their workplace  Estimated number of UK employees able to make use of such a scheme*  
Cycle-to-work / bike loan scheme  68%  22.1 million 
Subsidised public transport / loans for transport season tickets  60%  19.5 million 
Removing single-use plastic from the workplace  77%  25 million 
Paperless office  71%  23.1 million 
Vegan / vegetarian options in workplace canteens  70%  22.7 million 
Hybrid / remote working (to reduce commuter pollution)  67%  21.8 million 
Making use of video calls to reduce unnecessary travel  79%  25.7 million 
Using refillable cups for drinks  85%  27.6 million 
Volunteering through environmentally-friendly workplace schemes  60%  19.5 million 
Electrical vehicle (EV) leasing scheme  55%  17.9 million 

Jon Marsh, MD, Partnerships, Aviva General Insurance says:“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.  

“The latest How We Live data shows that 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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