Branch Secretary : info@housingworkers.org.uk
  

Too Many Employers Do Not Take Climate Change Seriously

Branch survey

 

The branch recently held a survey of members concerning environmental issues. We wanted to get a sense of members’ concerns, how they felt about their employers’ attitudes to the environment, and what they felt should be branch priorities in this area. In total, 64 members responded - a solid number - and we were able to put together a good picture. We would like to thank to everyone who took the time to respond.

 

 

Interestingly three of the members said that there had been wins at work relating to the environment, and none of these worked at places where there was currently a green rep. Of those three, one gave no details, one said they had managed to get more recycling at their workplace, and a third gave as details being involved in stopping the third Heathrow runway - which suggests they may have been thinking about wins in campaigning outside work rather than workplace issues.



About a fifth are involved in any campaigning on environmental issues outside of work. Examples given include involvement in Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth. A few gave recycling and eating less meat as examples of what they were doing, demonstrating that making changes to their lifestyle is for some the primary means of taking action.



Members were finally asked to list three key priorities the branch should take up. There was a lot of variety but four key areas of concern were most commonly mentioned:

  • Recycling;
  • Energy use (and related to that the need to shift to renewable energy); and
  • Reducing waste and the overuse of plastics.

 

Interestingly, this last was the most commonly mentioned subject. Concerns were also expressed about the use of paper, air pollution levels, and litter. One member suggested that the priorities should be organisational - the branch should ensure green reps in every workplace, develop a strategy for them, and produce materials to support their work.
 

Others saw things in quite broad terms, seeing global issues such as climate change or wildlife preservation as the key things to focus on. Most responses were short, and so it is hard to tell to what extent members saw these as priorities for workplace campaigning, or wider political work, but they are likely to be topics that can be taken up in both contexts.

 

 

The branch has already begun holding more meetings with environmental ‘themes’ and will do more as the issue continues to ride high on the political agenda. As one member suggested, recruiting green reps in workplaces is a priority and we would urge members to consider becoming green reps in their workplace.
 

As a result of the feedback, we will make environmental training available and our Environmental Officer is also planning to hold the first of what will be regular meetings of green reps and prospective green reps in order to find other ways we can support them.
 

The priorities identified in this survey will definitely form part of that discussion, and can also be used to inform future meetings, reports and briefings. 

 

September 25th 2020

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