Earth Day 2014 sees empowered employees demanding green workplace

Three in 4 would insist upon change if they saw an obvious wasteful practice

Apr 16, 2014, 09:30 ET from Ricoh Americas Corporation

MALVERN, Pa., April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Forty-four years of Earth Days (April 22) have clearly emboldened employees to demand a greener workplace.

A full 3 out of 4 employed U.S. adults[1] (75 percent) say they would insist upon change if they saw obvious wasteful practices at work, according to a new online survey of over 900 U.S. workers conducted in March by Harris Poll and commissioned by Ricoh Americas Corporation. Two out of 3 employees (67 percent) would "report" their company if it harmed the environment. And, remarkably, more than 2 in 5 (44 percent) agreed with this statement: I would rather be unemployed than work for a company that's knowingly harming the environment.

More than 1 in 10 (11 percent) say they actually are aware of activities at work that could damage the environment, and more than 1 in 3 (35 percent) believe their employer would sacrifice the environment for revenue.

"It certainly is a new world of work," said Jason Dizzine, Director, Technology Marketing, Ricoh Americas Corporation. "Forty-four years ago, whether a workplace was conservation-minded or not, being green just wasn't a substantial part of everyday conversations. Today's workers, however, are more mindful of the fact that natural resources are scarce and that the planet can sustain only so much consumption. This is a wonderful cultural evolution, and it aligns perfectly with our tradition of optimizing document processes and mobilizing information."

Guilt, yet hope
As environmentally concerned as the employees responding to the survey are, they say they often fall short in their actions. Nearly half of employees (46 percent) say they feel guilty that they're not doing enough to help the environment, and more than 2 out of 3 employees (68 percent) agree they do more for the earth at home than at their workplaces. Still, there's every reason to be hopeful. Nearly 3 in 5 (59 percent) believe our world will be more sustainable in 2050 than it is today.

One playful survey question resulted in some interesting responses. Employed adults were asked to classify themselves by choosing one of the following descriptions:

  1. Army Green (I find ways to be green at work every day and demand that my co-workers do as well)
  2. Forest Green (I recycle paper only since there is a recycling bin next to my desk)
  3. Emerald Green (I do something green once a day)
  4. Olive Green (I do something green once a week)
  5. Sage Green (I do something green once a month)
  6. Dusty Green (I can't remember the last time I did something green at work)

Emerald Green was the most popular choice (26 percent). A generational twist emerged in this part of the survey: those aged 55-64 were far more likely than younger employees to describe themselves as Army Green. Twenty-seven percent of the 55-64-year-olds chose the answer vs. 14 percent of 18-34-year-olds, 17 percent of the 35-44-year-olds and 14 percent of the 45-54-year-olds.

The Ricoh survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll using its QuickQuery Omnibus platform between March 18 and 20, 2014, among 2,063 adults aged 18 and older, of whom 948 are employed full/part time. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About Ricoh

Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2013, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,924 billion yen (approx. 20 billion USD).

The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialized industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change.,Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees.

For further information, please visit

© 2014 Ricoh Americas Corporation. All rights reserved. All referenced product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.

[1] Employed full/part time

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John Greco
Ricoh Americas Corporation
(973) 882-2023

Jill Searl
Brodeur Partners
(603) 559-5824


SOURCE Ricoh Americas Corporation