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Wasteful Workplaces 71% of Canadian professionals think their workplace lacks progressive sustainability goals.

  • 71% of professionals state their organization doesn’t have progressive climate goals.
  • Less than 1 in 5 think their workplace is very sustainable.
  • 59% of Canadian professionals think sustainability should be top workplace priority.
  • Just 15% of Canadian professionals think their employer does enough to tackle climate change.


Almost half of professionals’ state that climate control has become a priority for them - yet 60% feel that their employer is doing the bare minimum on sustainability targets.

Ahead of World Environment Day 2024, new research from specialist recruitment company Robert Walters has found that despite 59% of the companies surveyed stating sustainability and climate considerations has become a priority – efforts still seem to be falling short.

Megan Gallagher, Senior HR & Legal Recruiter for Robert Walters Canada comments: “All members of the business community have an obligation to help reverse the dial on climate change – recent research found that Canadians throw away more than four million tonnes of plastic every year, and less than one-tenth of it is actually recycled.”

43% of professionals feel that sustainability and climate considerations have become more of a priority for them- 34% higher than employers.

How sustainable is your workplace?

Only 18% of respondents to the Robert Walters poll believe their workplace is very sustainable – whilst the majority (60%) state their workplace is only marginally and over 1 in 5 don’t think their workplace is at all sustainable.

Megan comments: “Should the onus for workplace sustainability fall exclusively on employers’ shoulders? Or should there be more responsibility on professionals to come forward and join the efforts to ramp up office sustainability?”

The Robert Walters poll asked professionals who they thought the responsibility at work lay with – 24% stated HR and senior company leaders, 15% opted for office managers – however, 3 in 5 said that the responsibility lay with employees themselves.

Clear climate goals?

More than half of the waste in Canadian landfills comes from non-residential sources such as office spaces (source).

What’s worrying is that only 29% of Canadian professionals state their company has a set of clear, business-wide climate or sustainability targets – the remaining 71% state that their companies don’t.

Megan comments: “These figures demonstrate that we have a long way to go in achieving sustainable practices in the workplace. A strong environmental and sustainability stance can safeguard a company's long-term success. It's no secret that a robust ESG proposition is tied to higher equity returns.”

Nitty-gritty of green efforts

Given this year’s World Environment Day theme, ‘#GenerationRestoration’, we surveyed professionals on their interest in environmentally focused initiatives. 36% are interested in tree planting and reforestation projects, 32% in community clean-up events, and 32% in sustainable commuting and office recycling programs.

Megan comments: “Plastic and physical waste is just the tip of the iceberg – there is also energy usage (lights, laptops, printers and other tech) and heating costs to the Co2 production of long commutes and company travel abroad.

“Not only does office waste and energy usage carry huge environmental burden, but also a financial one that can have an enormous impact on a company’s bottom line.”

Megan shares her top tips for sustainable business: “Almost 30% of professional's state that their organization has clear climate goals – yet nearly 3 in 5 think their employer is not doing enough to allow for meaningful, long-term sustainability.

“There are a host of changes that can be adopted by businesses to become greener for good:

  1. Carrying out a waste audit – hiring an external provider to conduct a workplace waste audit, outlining areas for improvement and compiling an action plan of waste reduction.
  2. Assign responsibility in your organization – an increasing number of ESG-related roles are being created in organisations to set climate targets and form initiatives to reach set goals.
  3. Partnering with an ESG consultancy – not only to help hold your company to account but to keep up with sustainable industry expectations as well as stay abreast of upcoming policy changes.
  4. Offering sustainable alternatives – from keep-cups to reduce single-use plastics, recycled notepads and materials – offering more sustainable alternatives is a sure-fire way of reducing unnecessary business waste.
  5. Introduce collective sustainability incentives – work together as an organization to decide sustainability incentives and goals, if everyone feels they have a hand in contributing to greater sustainability across a business there will be more chance of it becoming a reality.”



About Robert Walters

With more than 4,300 people in 31 countries, Robert Walters Group deliver recruitment consultancy, staffing, recruitment process outsourcing and managed services across the globe. From traditional recruitment and staffing to end-to-end talent management, our consultants are experts at matching highly skilled people to permanent, contract and interim roles across all professional disciplines, including; Accounting & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Engineering, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Sales & Marketing, Secretarial & Support, Supply Chain & Procurement. www.robertwaltersgroup.com

For media enquiries contact:                        

Georgia Peglar

Senior Marketing Executive, Robert Walters Canada

E: georgia.peglar@robertwalters.com

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