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"Xerox: Workers Don't Copy Recycling from Home"

By Peter Healy, Staff Writer Stamford Advocate
April 22, 2008
Section: Financial
Page: A1

Do you throw recyclables in the regular trash or run the water too long in the office restroom? Those who don't act "green" are the new workplace pariahs, according to a survey by Norwalk-based Xerox Corp.

Xerox, the world's largest maker of copiers, released the survey results several days before today's Earth Day events among a half-billion people in 174 countries. Started in 1970, Earth Day encourages environmental awareness and action.

Almost 40 percent of U.S. respondents to the Xerox survey said their No. 1 office environmental pet peeve was mindless printing resulting in abandoned pages at the printer, followed closely by leaving lights on in unused offices (37 percent).

A review of the other top office gripes include:

* Lack of recycling bins (33 percent);

* Excessive air conditioning or heating (29 percent);

* Wasteful use of paper products, such as plates and cups (27 percent);

* Co-workers who don't recycle (27 percent); and

* Co-workers who print single-sided instead of double-sided documents (24 percent).

"As we talk with our customers, we often find that environmental consciousness is left in the recycling bin that sits in employees' garages," said Patricia Calkins, vice president of environment, health and safety at Xerox. "While they're eco-friendly at home, the office is still breeding ground for bad habits.

"It takes a few small steps to make a big difference," she said. "Use the technology available in the office to cut back on paper use, reduce waste and reduce energy consumption. That can mean simply setting the office printers to default to two-sided printing, which cuts office paper use in half. Or replace single-function printers and copiers with multifunction systems, decreasing energy use."

The survey, which polled 1,569 office workers across the United States and Canada, revealed that U.S. women (91 percent) consider themselves more eco-conscious than their male counterparts (86 percent).

Age had a noticeable effect on environmental consciousness, too, according to the survey. Of U.S. workers ages 18-34, 27 percent ranked themselves as "extremely" or "very green," compared with the next generation of employees ages 35-44 (17 percent).

"This survey seems to present an accurate view of attitudes in the workplace," said Hilary Kusel, executive director of the Boca Raton, Fla.-based Green Business Alliance. "Green Business Alliance's experience to date has been that corporate America is very much at the early stages of the go green movement. We believe that more education and awareness will lead to greater traction among the business community in the near future."

Founded early this year, the Green Business Alliance promotes eco-friendly practices among companies.

Copyright (c) 2008, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc.

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