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Entrepreneurs Panel

Michael Oliver
Jeremy Roberts
Tony Caldeira
Charlie Mullins
Brian Hay
Debbie Pierce
Laura Tenison
Jennie Johnson
David Pollock
Richard O'Sullivan
Julie Meyer
Steve Purdham

Encouraging employees to be green

Steve Purdham

Has worked in the software industry for more than 25 years. Founded Surfcontrol in the early 80s and built it into a global provider of internet filtering software before it was sold to California-based Websense in 2007 for £201 million. Moved straight onto the launch of We7, an advertising-funded music download company supported by rock legend Peter Gabriel. We7 was relaunched in 2008 as an internet jukebox with 3.5 million songs which users can listen to for free. Purdham is hoping for user figures of two million in 2009.


I’m trying to get my workers to recycle more while in the office but no one seems to be bothered. What can I do to encourage them?


If you are in charge then tell them, or better still incentivise them.

Try and make it fun: can you create some competition between teams, for instance?

You don’t have to go over the top but set a target for recycling for the quarter and have a prize of a curry and a few beers.

Alternatively get them to work out what can be recycled and how efficiently. Let them come up with ideas and, again, get them involved.

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