Publication Details

D'souza, S., McKechnie, D. S. & Grant, J. 2010, 'Colouring the workplace green: considering the shade employees see', International Conference on Sustainability in Business 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,


Sustainability, such as green initiatives, may be considered from two perspectives: (1) social marketing whereby societal value is a priority and (2) financial viability wherein stakeholder value is a concern. However, equally important to companies who seek to colour the workplace green is employee buy-in. This research, set in Dubai, UAE, sought answers about the support for green measures in the workplace. It was guided by three objectives: (1) to what extent are employees willing to contribute to an energy and/or environmentally friendly workplace; (2) to what extent do employees perceive company commitment towards a green workplace, and (3) what initiatives, if any, would encourage employees to participate in green activities. The empirical findings indicate that employees are critiquing company actions. They suggest that more may be done including education activities such as workshops and seminars for information as well as competitions across departments. Monetary rewards were preferred by those youngest and oldest in the workplace. The contribution to knowledge is made more significant given that the UAE scores exceptionally high on carbon footprint per capita ratings. The focus of the study was kept intentionally broad for data interpretation to identify potential issues which could further the research beyond this exploratory stage. Respondents were approached at various venues, including some in their workplace presenting some limitations due to sample size. Future research may pursue the opportunity for companies to use internal marketing activities if they seek to colour the workplace a deeper shade of green.