While organisations are more motivated to commit to a net zero pledge, some companies are still dragging their feet when it comes to planning for a carbon free economy by 2050.
This is according to a study released by health and safety training specialist Astutis Ltd.
Astutis, one of the fastest growing training providers in the UK, prepared the 2022-2023 Health, Safety and Environmental Training Report to see how trends had changed since its inaugural report was launched last year on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of the 262 industry-wide professionals who responded to the 2022-2023 survey, 52% claimed that their business has a proactive net zero plan, while 18% insisted their business is focused on a sustainability programme and over a quarter of those surveyed said that the environment was a determining factor in their choice of training.
It came as a surprise that some respondents simply lacked a clear strategic direction for their companies with regard to the environment and curbing climate change. Accusations of greenwashing against some of the world’s most powerful corporates have put businesses under pressure to act quickly and make realistic pledges. That being said, there have been other pressing matters affecting UK businesses including soaring energy costs and staffing issues, which have likely become bigger immediate priorities.
Meanwhile, the study shows that health and safety is being taken more seriously, perhaps due to fear of litigation. According to Astutis 55% of companies surveyed increased their training activity, while 48% of respondents believe their business views health and safety as a top priority, with 89% of employees feeling that their workplace is safe.
Time seems to be a limiting factor to keeping businesses compliant with their obligations. The survey revealed that 41% of health and safety professionals cited finding time as an obstacle to facilitating training courses alongside day-to-day operations. This may account for more businesses enrolling employees for company training in virtual classrooms and online (83%).
The study also highlights the changes in attitude in the workplace regarding mental health. The focus on this issue that increased due to the pandemic seems to have been maintained with 69% of respondents saying that well-being support from their employers was available and easily accessed.
Steve Terry, Managing Director of Astutis, said:
“We are happy to report that positive strides were being taken to systematically improve the culture surrounding health and safety. These findings are highly encouraging. Businesses are taking a more proactive approach to deploying health, safety and environmental training.”
On the back of the report, Cardiff-based Astutis has appointed two environmental champions within the business to assist with the company’s plan of achieving net zero. It supports two charities: the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust and the World Wildlife Fund Climate Recovery Project. Astutis is also applying for sustainability verification from the ethy sustainability standards awards – https://ethy.co.uk/for-brands
Astutis provides market-leading health and safety and environmental training and consultancy solutions to clients in over 180 countries and has trained over 100,000 learners. It delivers over 100 Health and Safety training courses for employers of all sizes, while its chartered consultants offer HSE support for organisations to achieve legal compliance and protect their workforce.