An online survey of more than 1,000 public, private and third sector employees has revealed that the public sector is the most committed to cutting carbon emissions.

Almost 60 percent of public respondents indicated that their organisation planned to make “tangible investments” in carbon reduction in 2012. A further 77.9 percent of public sector respondents agreed that the reduction of carbon emissions had remained a key facet of the organisation’s objectives despite the current economic climate.

Interestingly, only 46 percent of private sector workers confirmed that their organisation would be making investments in carbon cutting measures in the coming year.

The vast majority of respondents (78 percent) indicated that they would expect the public sector to take the lead in cutting emissions by embracing carbon reduction measures.

Richard Rugg, Director, Carbon Trust Programmes, said: “We’ve worked with some truly pioneering public sector organisations to slash their costs and carbon. Even in the face of an economic downturn, the public sector clearly still recognises the benefit of managing down its carbon and sees the short-term as well as long-term benefits of doing so. You don’t have to invest large sums upfront to see a return. An open goal for the public sector is engaging their staff in energy efficiency programmes.”

The survey also indicated that half of all respondents’ organisations considered carbon as a factor when making a business decision. Disappointingly, under a third of all respondents to the Guardian Sustainable Business survey said their organisation had engaged employees in cutting carbon.

Rugg concluded: “The business case for carbon action stacks up. It’s an essential opportunity for cost saving not a costly nice-to-have.”