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Saving energy in the workplace: why, and for whom?

Leygue, Caroline; Ferguson, Eamonn; Spence, Alexa


Caroline Leygue


Saving energy at work might be considered altruistic, because often no personal benefits accrue. However, we consider the possibility that it can be a form of impure-altruism in that the individual experiences some rewards. We develop a scale to measure motivations to save energy at work and test its predictive power for energy-saving intentions and sustainable choices. In two studies (N = 293 and N = 94) motivations towards helping their organization and the planet were rated as important motivations, as was warm-glow (feeling good), indicating that impure-altruism does exist in this context. Energy saving was predicted by environmental concern and the desire to help one's organization. Notably, the stronger the motivations to promote one's reputation were, the weaker was the intention to save energy. Promoting motivations, particularly those that focus on benefits to the organization, may be an effective addition to environmental messages typically used as motivations in campaigns.


Leygue, C., Ferguson, E., & Spence, A. (2017). Saving energy in the workplace: why, and for whom?. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 53,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 19, 2017
Publication Date Nov 30, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 31, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 31, 2017
Journal Journal of Environmental Psychology
Print ISSN 0272-4944
Electronic ISSN 1522-9610
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Keywords Energy saving, Motivations, Altruism, Organizational behavior
Public URL
Publisher URL


Workplace 1-s2.0-S0272494417300798-main-CL.pdf (433 Kb)

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