How Green is Your Workplace?

Guest Author | October 6, 2011

By Patti Prairie, CEO, Brighter Planet

Plenty of government agencies and private businesses boast that they are engaging their employees in sustainability programs to green their workplaces. But which employers are really giving their employees the information they need to make their organizations more environmentally-friendly?

My company, Brighter Planet, which specializes in carbon accounting and mitigation, is conducting its second annual survey asking employees to rate how their businesses, agencies and bosses are measuring up when it comes to encouraging and helping engage employees in sustainability efforts.

We're hoping to expand our survey this year. You can participate by completing the short questionnaire. All names and e-mails will be kept confidential.

Our findings last year were eye-opening:

  • Organizations and companies in the environmental and energy/utility sectors had the programs rated most effective by employees. Government, retail and technology organizations were seen as the big laggards.
  • Only 14% of respondents said their employer's programs were "very effective" and 27% didn't even know whether a program existed.
  • Companies that used social media were twice as likely to be rated very effective by employees in their green efforts as employers that don't embrace social media.

You can find last year's green workplace survey and other Brighter Planet research at

We'll send our findings to Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)  for posting on this blog, which has done an excellent job of following the employee engagement issue.  EDF's 2011 Climate Corps Fellow Pia Kristiansen posted a great report on her experiences at McDonald's.

Help us evaluate how a wide range of  organizations and companies stack up.