Edited by Victoria Wells, Diana Gregory-Smith and Danae Manika
Chapter 6: Environmental considerations as a basis for employee pro-environmental behaviour
Organisations are increasingly recognising that environmental problems will reduce if their employees act more pro-environmentally. However, pro-environmental behaviour (at home or at work) generally implies a conflict between immediate gratifications or financial gains and long-term benefits for the environment. Yet, despite this, people are motivated to act pro-environmentally when they are focused on benefiting the environment. In this chapter, we discuss a conceptual framework to understand, predict and promote pro-environmental behaviour at work. We identify two main factors affecting pro-environmental actions: the values people endorse and contextual factors. We propose that people are more likely to act pro-environmentally at work when they strongly endorse biospheric values. Biospheric values influence behaviour by strengthening the environmental self-identity and personal norms to act pro-environmentally at work. Yet, contextual factors can prevent (or promote) people acting upon their personal norms. Contextual factors may not only inhibit or enable pro-environmental behaviour at work, but they can also affect the extent to which people focus on benefiting the environment, which affects pro-environmental actions. People are more likely to act pro-environmentally when the context makes them focus on the environment, even more so when people have relatively weak biospheric values.
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