I have heard that employees who work in organizations or buildings with a focus on sustainability are more likely to make more sustainable choices in their personal lives and homes.

For instance, if an office requires employees to separate recyclables, composting, and waste, the employees will tend to be better educated about how to implement this at home. While this seems intuitive, I'm wondering if this is true in practice?

Is there any research indicating whether employees in offices with a focus on sustainability make more sustainable choices in their personal lives and homes?

I'm interested to know if there's a relationship, and how strong the effect is.

  • My personal experience is, that everyday choices tend to be in favour of sustainable solutions for, but e.g. vacation choices sometimes negate these choices (long distance travel by plane, etc).
    – Erik
    Dec 7, 2018 at 13:09
  • 1
    It might also be the other way around? People who make sustainable choices at home are more likely to want to work for companies who have sustainable policies?
    – Nick C
    Dec 7, 2018 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


I'm afraid it will be very hard to find evidence for this, but I can think of two arguments in favor of a Yes answer:

  • If people know that others 'do the right thing', they will be more likely to do that themselves. This is one of the reasons for taking action that e.g. Per Espen Stokness writes about in his book What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming, and you will find this confirmed in other places. In your example, that extends even to the families of the employees.

  • Knowledge is shared between the household and the company about what and how to recycle. Actually, not only knowledge but also perceptions, e.g. that is actually very easy to separate pour waste streams.

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