The Carbon Trust is launching an online service designed to boost employee engagement with the green agenda, arguing that embracing environmental best practices could potentially save large UK businesses and public sector bodies £500m a year through energy and waste reductions alone
The Carbon Trusts's the so-called "Empower" tool can can be downloaded by public bodies and businesses free of charge. The interactive application allows employees to take a virtual tour of a typical office building to learn how to make environmental improvements, such as turning off unused equipment or avoiding unnecessary corporate travel.
They can then also set personal goals for reducing their environmental impact using the application, which can be shared with their managers.
Analysis by the Carbon Trust has found that a typical 10 storey office building with a 30,000 metre squared floor area and 2,500 employees could save £150,000 and over 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually by using the Empower tool.
A spokesman said this could equate to total savings of £500m if all the organisations and businesses in the UK carried out half of the recommended measures.
He added that Empower was the most "sophisticated, rigourous and robust tool" that the company has developed to engage employees.
Richard Rugg, director of Carbon Trust Programmes, said the tool was designed to help change employee behaviour, which is often seen as one of the greatest obstacles to companies' efforts to curb their environmental impacts.
"Companies often struggle to harness the huge energy savings that an effectively engaged workforce can help deliver," he explained. "Part of the problem employers face is making actions practical, fun and sustained. By creating a virtual tour entirely from an employees viewpoint, every aspect of Empower has been designed with the end-user in mind.