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Date: 5 July 2007

Trade union steps up campaign to 'Green the workplace'

UNISON, Scotland's public service union today stepped up its environmental campaigning with a call to its thousands of members to 'green the workplace'.

The union welcomed the fact that a workplace pilot scheme at Scottish Power has impressed new Spanish owners Iberdrola so much they want to take the ideas to Spain.

The union today launched a Green Workplace Briefing for branches and activists as part of UK-wide campaigning by UNISON on tackling climate change, and an updated environment manifesto detailing some of the work UNISON members do at their work, and the aims of the union Scottish Organiser Dave Watson said that many UNISON members take action on global warming at home and want to help make a difference at work too.

"UNISON recognises the need for urgent action at home, at work, nationally and internationally." He said. "There is considerable scope for public sector organisations and businesses across Scotland to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Our members are keen to work with employers and help protect the planet for future generations worldwide."

Ideas for action at work include green travel plans, cutting energy waste and the three Rs - Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. UNISON is calling for rights and facilities time for trade union environmental representatives at local level to help boost the number of employers adopting low carbon policies.

Tony Grieve, Secretary of UNISON's Scottish Electricity branch, praised the joint TUC/Scottish Power pilot at the company's Bellshill offices involving UNISON and Prospect members.

He said: "Iberdrola are aware of the Scottish Power Greenworkplace project and are now considering rolling it out in Spain. There has been very positive feedback and they are getting lots of suggestions from staff."

The project includes ways to cut energy use, and training interested staff as environmental 'champions' It also uses electricity monitors to demonstrate how much energy appliances can use if left switched on overnight.

Tony said: "Scottish Power recognises the importance of involving staff. Green policies will succeed much better where we work together than if employers try to enforce or impose something without consultation."


Notes to editors:

1. UNISON Scotland is the first trade union to sign up to Stop Climate Chaos Scotland.

2. The Green Workplace Briefing is on the UNISON Scotland website at www.unison-scotland.org.uk/briefings/greenworkplace.html

3. UNISON Scotland's Environment Manifesto is at www.unison-scotland.org.uk/greenworkplace/

For Further Information Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser) 0845 355 0845 (w) 07958 122 409 (m) Tony Grieve (Branch Sec - Scottish Electricity Br) 07768 501 600(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)