Union ‘green’ reps save energy at work

The British government acknowledged on 7 October that employees have a key role to play in saving energy in their workplaces.

In its response to the findings of an official consultation into the UK’s ‘Carbon Reduction Commitment’, the government has said the assessment of good practice on “disclosure of information on energy management” should include consideration of measures to “actively engage employees to reduce energy use.”

The government’s policy decisions document notes: “Where an independent trade union is recognised for collective bargaining purposes, energy management issues are considered in these joint discussions and members actively take forward initiatives to reduce the organisation’s carbon emissions.”

A report on the Touchstone blog on the UK national union federation TUC notes “carbon pricing kicks off in April 2010 for 5,000 of our largest service sector employers, when the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), takes effect.”

It adds CRC will put a price on carbon dioxide pollution in the service industries, with incentives to cut consumption.

The TUC blog adds: “It’s great news for the TUC and our affiliates and reflects well on the hard work and dedication of green reps. Their work will now be recognised in a CRC performance ‘league table’, which requires employers to tick an ‘employee engagement” box’…”

The TUC entry adds: “As the TUC’s latest study of 1,300 green reps points out, unions are now the real green champions in the workplace!”

The same day the Conservatives said their new Green Deal to create a low carbon economy would create more than 70,000 skilled jobs.

The shadow energy and climate change secretary, Greg Clark said he hoped 3,500 of the new jobs created through the programme could be ‘green apprenticeships’.

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