New Delhi: Sustainability in the workplace is no longer optional and office workers are more likely to leave companies that don’t implement sustainable business practices, according to a new study released by technology company HP on Wednesday.

The study found that sustainable business practices are mandatory in recruiting, hiring and retaining top talent, and employees are more productive, motivated and engaged when working for an employer who is leading the charge in social responsibility.

The global 20,000 participant survey found that 61% believe sustainability is mandatory for businesses. Of those interviewed, 56% believe that ignoring environmental impact in the workplace is as bad as ignoring diversity and inclusion.

For many businesses, the first wave of sustainable changes was addressed through big ticket items like Leed building certification (widely used green building rating system)and energy efficient lighting. Now they are focusing on the next layer of easily overlooked sustainable improvements like composting and the direct purchase of renewable energy.

“The study released today proves what HP has suspected for many years – businesses, and their workforce, are demanding higher levels of sustainability and quality from their suppliers," said Dave McQuarrie, Global Head of Print Business Management, HP Imaging and Printing.

One of the most overlooked opportunities for eco-friendly practices in the workplace, for instance, is in the purchase and disposal of printer ink and toner cartridges, a global market estimated to be around $45 billion.

The influx of imitation cartridges as an alternative to quality print cartridges has created a host of new challenges for purchasers, including the fact that many do not realize imitation cartridges are often not recycled. As a result, 97% of imitation cartridges may end up in landfills.

Since 2000, HP has utilized more than 199 million pounds of recycled plastic into 3.9 billion HP Original ink and toner cartridges. Even diverting 716,000 pounds of plastic from reaching the ocean – the equivalent of more than 25 million plastic bottles – and repurposing it into HP cartridges.

Key findings of the study

— Study reveals 61% of survey participants believe Business Sustainability is mandatory

— 58% said Environmentally Conscious Practices are key to engaging future workforce

— 46% said they would only work for companies with sustainable business practices

— 53% of office decision makers did not realize imitation printer cartridges are not recyclable

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