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[greenyes] Study Finds Sustainability a 'High Priority' for Employees

Study Finds Sustainability a 'High Priority' for Employees
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 29, 2004 - The most recent Steelcase Workplace
Index Survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation provides a glimpse at
environmental perceptions in the workplace.

Through this survey of over 675 office workers in the United States,
Steelcase, a global office environments manufacturer whose offerings help
individuals to work more effectively and organizations to use space more
efficiently, revealed that issues surrounding environmental sustainability
are of great importance to workers and companies alike. However, the study
also found a conflict of thought: the incentive motivating companies into
action is the same barrier keeping them from doing so.

According to the survey, more than half of those surveyed believe
environmental and sustainability issues are a "high priority" for their
company. And, around 74% of Americans say their company "always" or "often"
takes steps to improve its environmental standards, such as using less
paper, recycling, and shutting off lights and other electrical devices when
not in use.

"It is promising that a high percentage of companies are actively taking
steps to improve environmental standards," said David Rinard, director of
corporate environmental performance at Steelcase. "Protecting the
environment is one of Steelcase's founding principles, and it is reassuring
to see that this value is shared among a rising number of companies and

The Workplace Index Survey went a step further to examine the incentives and
barriers that encourage or discourage companies from taking action.
According to the survey, Americans believe cutting cost is the primary
incentive encouraging their company to be more environmentally responsible.
On the contrary, the survey reveals that the majority of Americans believe
cost is the primary barrier keeping companies from minimizing their impact
on the environment.

"Interestingly, the incentive motivating companies to be more responsible is
also the primary barrier," explained Rinard. "Companies are looking for
solutions that help cut costs while also acting in an environmentally
responsible manner. In response to this need, Steelcase recently launched an
environmental program to help companies determine how best to dispose of
office furniture in a cost-effective and environmentally-sensitive manner."

Additionally, the Steelcase Workplace Index Survey examined the importance
of environmentally-friendly products and furniture in offices. Among the
* 54% of Americans say their company purchases recyclable or
sustainable products and furniture

* 77% of respondents under the age of 55 say they would prefer that
their employer purchase environmental products instead of other products;
while only 50% of respondents over the age of 55 say they would prefer that
their employer purchase environmental products

* 61% of Americans say they are more likely to buy an environmentally-
friendly product even if it cost more than another product

* 95% say they would be more likely to buy a product with
environmental attributes when the price remains the same.
Steelcase conducts the Workplace Index Survey to uncover pertinent issues in
today's work environment. This continual workforce feedback is essential to
the development of Steelcase's information and expertise in the workplace,
and to the company's product development and corporate ventures aimed to
increase effectiveness, productivity and environmental responsibility.

Past surveys have been conducted on productivity in the workplace,
technology used in meetings, lighting in the workplace and alternative
postures in the workplace. Further information on workplace issues and on
the Steelcase environmental program can be found on Steelcase's Web site
This story is at

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