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Environmental Sustainability at Work: A Call to Action


  • Both authors contributed equally to this manuscript; the order of authorship is arbitrary. The authors thank Brenton M. Wiernik for his help compiling the data for Table 1.

Deniz S. Ones.
Address: Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455


As world economies and organizations transform to minimize, mitigate, and neutralize their environmental impact and adapt for environmental sustainability, industrial and organizational psychologists are uniquely positioned to aid in these efforts. Industrial and organizational (I–O) psychology has a central role to play and a duty to contribute to organizational greening initiatives. In making our case, we first describe how economic activities, organizations, and workplaces of today are in the midst of unprecedented change in terms of their impacts on and relations with the natural environment. To ensure conceptual clarity, we then delineate environmental sustainability constructs that are relevant in work settings and distinguish them from related concepts (e.g., social responsibility). We also provide an overview of psychological contributions to environmental sustainability and note that so far there is limited I–O psychological research and application. We conclude by describing ways in which I–O psychologists can contribute.