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Adobe surveys sustainability at work in Hong Kong employees

With more people and businesses realizing the importance of environmental protection and carbon emissions, Adobe has recently surveyed more than 1,000 Hong Kongers to understand employees' and executives' stances on environmental impact through an Adobe Sustainability at Work study.

The respondents were asked about personal and professional sustainability initiatives and their forecasts by 2030.

According to the survey results, Hong Kong employees feel strongly about achieving sustainable workplaces. 

Over half of respondents would like to be more involved in driving sustainability practices in their workplace (62%), encourage others at work to be mindful of their company’s sustainability practices (62%) and feel empowered to help improve their company’s sustainability practices (54%). 

Over a third of Hong Kong respondents believe that everyone should help drive sustainability practices in the workplace. At the same time, they primarily think that managers and executives have the responsibility to do so (44%).

The most common sustainability practices that Hong Kong employees are adopting to reduce their carbon footprint in the office are reducing or eliminating paper usage (46%), digital document storage and management (43%), and curbing electricity consumption (37%). 

When discussing their companies' position in implementing sustainability practices, over a quarter (27%) of the respondents believe their company lags in their sector. 

While only 15% of Hong Kong respondents recognize their company as a sustainability leader in their sector, more people from the IT and Telecoms industries (26%) believe their company is a leader. 

This is followed by Finance and Healthcare (20% for both). Finally, education and retail, catering and leisure are the sectors with the least people (5%) thinking they are leaders.

A common theme around sustainability may be the cost, but people see other benefits. 

Over a third of employees think that instituting sustainability practices at work causes less harm to the environment (54%), lowers costs (49%), and boosts productivity rates (37%). Thirty-five percent think it would improve workplace culture.

Hong Kong employees also see sustainability as an opportunity for innovation, talent attraction and retention. 35 to 44-year-olds are most likely to think sustainability initiatives will be viewed as opportunities for innovation/thought leadership (70%). 

This age group also thinks strong sustainability practices will be the most crucial factor in talent attraction and retention (68%).

“As ESG rises up the agenda in the city, sustainability has become one of the metrics for business success. As a result, Hong Kong companies are increasingly seeking innovative ways to meet the sustainability targets," says Tony Ng, Managing Director of Greater China, Adobe. 

“Beyond shaping corporate reputation, effective substainabilty practices, more importantly, help to improve the relationship between a company and different stakeholders, including employees and consumers. ”

When asking senior executives in Hong Kong about metrics for business success, they believe the top three metrics are customer loyalty and retention (50%), sustainability (47%) and sales revenue (46%). 

80% of Hong Kong executives say that achieving high sustainability levels at work is important.

71% of executives in Hong Kong are assessed on sustainability in their performance scorecard. Hong Kong companies usually track sustainability initiatives by running internal auditing and reporting (43%), employee surveys (42%) and publishing sustainability performance reports (41%).

69% of Hong Kong executives say their companies have boosted their sustainability efforts to attract more prospective employees. On that note, 41% of Hong Kong employees say they would only work at a company that prioritizes sustainability. The rate is even higher in IT and Telecoms (54%) and the Finance (56%) industries.

Fast forward to 2030, Hong Kong respondents believe their companies will consider the entire supply chain, including vendors, when implementing sustainability initiatives (72%).

They also think companies will focus their sustainability initiatives on harm reduction (71%) and revamp internal processes to reduce their in-office/workspace environmental impact (68%).

Hong Kong respondents also believe their company should be doing more in the following areas concerning sustainability in the workplace: reducing or eliminating paper usage (48%), curbing electricity consumption (47%) and recycling programmes (44%). 

These are closely followed by adopting digital document storage and management, online collaboration (43%) and workflow tools (37%).

“While businesses in Hong Kong are striving to achieve sustainability and ultimately enhance their competitiveness, Adobe is committed to finding new ways to help customers apply more sustainable practices through the use of our technology,” adds Ng. 

For example, every 1 million transactions completed through Adobe Acrobat Sign produces $7.2 million in cost savings and equates to emissions, taking over 2,300 cars off the road for a year. 

“In the digital-first era, we look forward to seeing more Hong Kong companies recognize the power of digital technology. They can leverage resource-free workflows across our solutions to operate more efficiently in a digital world and create a more sustainable future," he concludes.

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