People are the business/building

During Earth Hour I had a couple of conversations about how people who work in offices seem to be less conscious of their habits in relation to sustainability than they are at home. That somehow, when they’re at work, they kind of feel it’s someone else’s responsibility. This was primarily anecdotal, but it did ring true for me at the time.

Seems that recent survey, reported by Smart Company seems to back that up:

According to a recent survey of 1741 US employees by Sun Microsystems published by, 73% of workers want to work for businesses that are environmentally-friendly – but only 52% say they turn lights off when they leave a room at the office, and 34% report they turn off their computers at the end of the day.

Interestingly, people take more responsibility for conservation at home. The same survey found 92% of people conserve energy at home by turning off the lights and 58% shut down their computers.

In our chats one of the folks suggested that we needed to get across the idea that individuals are the business – in the specific case we were referring to the building (i.e. that the building doesn’t know how to turn off lights and computers, put things in recycling, conserve water etc. – the people do).

But how do you do that without sounding patronising? Anyways – hopefully that study will help change some behaviour…