The poll, by research and communications firm Kite Insights, found that 93 per cent of staff feel that taking steps to tackle the environmental crisis in their job role is important for their motivation and wellbeing.
Half of those surveyed agreed that climate change is a fundamental threat that will have catastrophic consequences for economies and societies if transformative measures to fix it are not immediately implemented.
More than three quarters of those questioned said they were ready and willing to take action at work to tackle the problem, but a third think the companies they work for aren’t doing enough to address the issues.
Results revealed that 61 per cent of respondents could not explain what steps their firms were taking to cut their ecological impacts.
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Meanwhile, more than half of employees want to be provided with climate change training, with as much as 12 per cent prepared to leave their role without it.
Sophie Lambin is chief executive at Kite Insights, which is launching its new Climate School this week, providing environmental advice and training to businesses.
She says it’s clear from the findings that employees are being overlooked and firms are failing to adequately mobilize staff to fight climate breakdown.
“As businesses move to address the climate crisis and commit to the green transition, employee engagement will be one of the main indicators and predictors of business performance and resilience,” she said.
“The companies whose employees are ready to embrace and pursue change, armed with the knowledge and skills to do so, will lead and succeed in the green transformation.
“The transformation mindset starts and ends with people.
“It’s about reimagining economic and planetary prosperity, and averting future crises with ingenuity and justice, and measuring the extent to which companies are actually giving their employees the means to be part of it.”
Environmental scientist Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and part of the new Climate School team, said: “Businesses, and therefore all employees, are in the midst of the climate crisis, and what happens over the coming few years will determine the outcome both for the planet and for the competitive edge of companies.
“It is therefore essential that all employees are up to speed with the latest science, engage with the frontier work on aligning businesses with science-based targets, and contribute to transform their companies and industries, to secure jobs and prosperity.”
The survey, which was based on replies from more than 7,000 workers across 15 industries, also revealed that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has also led to assumptions and misconceptions about the world’s progress towards cutting emissions.
This was highlighted by the 59 per cent of employees who said they believed greenhouse gas emissions had failed in 2020, when in fact they rose more than the 10-year average – to 413.2 part per million.
The Climate School quantifies companies’ climate readiness by scoring employee knowledge, motivation and ability to act, measuring preparedness and accelerating the transition to net-zero.