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Productivity Dividend

Employees work harder at environmentally conscious companies.

Betsy Simnacher

You’ve probably heard that green companies have happier workers (resulting in less turnover) and attract lots of job applicants (900 for each opening at environmentally conscious outdoor-apparel manufacturer Patagonia, for instance). Here’s the latest incentive: A study published last fall has found that workers were a whopping 16 percent more productive at companies that voluntarily meet organic or fair trade certification standards for their products or that adopt environmental management standards.

Magali Delmas, Ph.D., an environmental economist and UCLA professor involved in the study, said researchers already knew that “many employees want to work for a company that is green [because they’re doing good deeds], but we also argue in this paper that it’s more than just wanting to work there—it’s working more.… I hope managers look at this and see the potential for their firms and employees.”

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