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November 09, 2008


Roberto Giannicola


I’m glad you wrote this blog post. I always believed that education is key to creating meaningful change.

I also knew of a study in the UK showing that environmentally educated employees were 20 to 50% more likely to save energy, conserve water, or take parts in other green initiatives. This is simple logic: how can employers expect everyone in their organization to act as a socially responsible person, if they don’t tell them the reasons and make them understand the consequences of their lifestyles? Nobody likes to be told what to do without explanations.

I’ve been in the corporate world for years, listened to company meetings and conferences about greening the workplace. The level of environmental knowledge, often, does not reach further than recycling a can of soda, saving paper and turning the switches off.

Social responsibility goes beyond that, beyond climate change and pollution. Being socially responsible signifies being responsible towards humans, animals and nature, locally and across the world, for today and the future. I still beware a company selling green services or products but doesn't include anyone in the organization to understand environmental issues.

As for education, I'd give a few warnings. Talking about the state of the planet, human and animal suffering, or the consequences of population growth, (to name only a few) and linking that to employees' behavior can create quite a shock and sometimes cause despair rather than a positive thrust for change. From personal experience that does not work. As part of education, it is important to include the solutions and the positive outcomes of acting “green”.

Will corporations have a budget to include education within the company? Hmm, not likely in today's economy; but if they, the CEO's, understand the potential benefits of having everyone in the company working on environmental issues, just like Quad, then the additional step will be all worth it.


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