5 tips for building a sustainable workforce
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
It’s a familiar topic - a Gallup poll in 2018 found that a whopping 85% of employees feel disengaged in their work. This has disastrous results. Not only for employees in terms of satisfaction but for the companies they work for, too: low productivity, high turnover, people who don’t feel connected to the company mission...
So where does sustainability come into all this? Sustainability and a company culture that’s dedicated to climate action have been shown to not only benefit the planet, but also beneficial in boosting engagement, productivity, and contentment for employees. And Millenial employees are passionate about climate action!
Nearly 40% of Millennials said they've chosen a job because the company outperformed another when it came to sustainability. In a different survey taken in 2016, 75% of Millennials said that they would take a smaller salary in order to work at a company that aligned with their values.
So what can you do as a team or business to get started when it comes to engaging your employees in sustainability? Read on for our five top tips!
STOP RIGHT THERE! Make sure you’re taking serious action at the corporate level first ;)
It’s absolutely vital that you have in place a science-based target or well-thought-through net-zero goal before you start asking your employees to do their bit! Worry not! Conducting an emissions audit or assessment need not be hugely difficult (depending on company size and sector), and there are some great sustainability consulting companies (such as PlanetMark), and sustainability auditing software (such as PlanA). Once you have an understanding of your business emissions and a plan in place to reduce these, read on to get your employees involved!
Reduce Business Travel
Between the cars, planes, and food waste generated through business and corporate travel, it’s easy for the trips to rack up significant greenhouse gas emissions. Global consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper estimated that business travel was responsible for the largest cut of their emission, coming in at 53% of total emissions. With the rise of software like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. it’s much easier for companies to arrange meetings and conferences virtually so that teams can collaborate and save money and emissions. This is a great topic to get your employees involved in, whether that’s simply encouraging land-based travel vs flights when needed, or through using an app like Capture to help employees live track and reduce travel-based emissions.
Offering sustainable investment options for employee pensions and 401K funds shows your employees that you’re concerned about environmental matters and that you share their values. This is a big and complex topic, and we suggest starting with some research via Bank.Green…
A lot of us enjoy a good dose of competition, so why not add some fun and rivalry to make behaviour change and awareness even more rewarding! Can sales beat accounting on average per person CO2 reductions? Who would do best on a Speedy Shower challenge or a Vegan Day challenge? If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help! Check out Capture for Teams for an intro to our work with organisations, or book a demo here!
Paid Time Volunteering
Engage your employees by giving them time to give back to the community and the planet! Companies like Ben & Jerry’s and Method offer employees paid time off in order to go and volunteer. Other companies host regular volunteer days so that the whole organisation or particular groups can participate at the same time.
How do you engage your employees when it comes to sustainability and sustainability-related benefits? And have you noticed a difference in productivity or engagement? We would love to hear your thoughts! Reach out to on our LinkedIn channel or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org