Large companies taking part in environmental boot-camps have reported a link between ecological consciousness and work productivity.

Employees from Unilever in Australia and New Zealand have recently been involved in the camps designed to increase the environmental awareness and decrease the destructive footprint of workers. Participants were taught to reduce waste, water and energy use in a number of ways including shorter showers and dry shampoo. Ninety per cent of of those involved said they would get into reducing waste.

“The boot camp gave us all the sense that we’re part of this pioneer movement, working together to find ways to be more sustainable, both at work and at home,” a Unilever employee said, “these are lessons that I will carry with me for life.”

Clive Stiff, chairman and CEO of Unilever Australia and New Zealand, said the company is “passionate about driving sustainable growth – and exciting activities like the boot-camp are a great way to engage our people on this strategic priority.”

A company which holds its environmental responsibilities at the forefront of its strategic approach is seen as increasingly desirable for new entrants to the workforce, some experts say.

A recent article by Andy Savitz in the Wall Street Journal echoed that sentiment, saying “some say they’d take a pay cut to join a firm whose environmental and social practices they admire.”

“Reducing waste can save companies plenty and attract green-minded customers, but in many cases the business results that come as the result of increased employee engagement can dwarf those expected gains,” Savitz added, “if what you’re doing resonates with their values, you may find your employees working harder and standing taller.”