Presented by Sage

Four ways HR can drive business sustainability

 ·5 Dec 2022

Sustainability is an essential focus for businesses as consumers prioritise environmental responsibility in their purchasing decisions.

Deloitte research shows that over 60% of consumers have reduced their use of single-use plastics, 39% have reduced the volume of goods they buy for sustainability reasons, and 30% are consuming less meat and animal products.

While environmental sustainability must have an organisation-wide focus, HR can help align employee needs with the business’s sustainability goals.

April Marcot, Chief People Officer at HR services firm McArthur, said in a recent Sage report, sustainability will be “something that workforces will expect a much more serious attitude towards”.

Here are four ways your HR department can contribute to your business’s sustainability goals:

1. Find out your employees’ sustainability needs

While your company’s leadership must lead the overall sustainability discussion, HR departments are well equipped to facilitate these discussions and ensure all employees’ voices are heard.

This is not a once-off action – HR must facilitate continuous dialogue to ensure that, as the business evolves, its sustainability strategy does, too.

These continuous dialogues can also help you understand how new implementations are benefiting your employees, and where more can be done.

2. Create a sustainability team

There is no doubt your organisation has many sustainability advocates, so tap into their enthusiasm by forming a sustainability team.

A great place to start would be building a ‘green team’ that promotes improved environmental responsibility within your organisation.

HR’s role would be to help form this group and bring ideas to the table from an HR perspective.

3. Promote hybrid working

Hybrid working is a great way to reduce your business’s environmental impact, as employees won’t use their cars to travel to work each day.

Hybrid working is preferable, rather than pure remote working, as not all employees will feel comfortable and be as productive doing their work at home.

HR should lead by developing a comprehensive hybrid working strategy and work with management to implement it.

4. Conduct research

While your HR department likely won’t lead your company’s entire sustainability strategy, it still has a big role to play, so being informed on this important topic is a good idea.

You can find a wealth of information online about organisation sustainability and HR’s role in the process.

For example, Sage has many great resources on the topic such as this article.

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