Educating a company’s workforce, building awareness, and encouraging their direct and indirect involvement to protect ecosystems
There are many benefits for a company to go green. By being environmentally conscious, and working to preserve the environment, it allows for companies to attract and retain top talent. A study by Cone Communications found that two-thirds of millennials would not work for a company that lacks strong corporate social responsibility values, but other generations also care about sustainability.
Research conducted by Rubbermaid Commercial Products found that 90% of millennials say that working for a company that practices sustainability is a top priority. Gen-X is not far behind at 84%, followed by baby boomers at 74%. Clearly, sustainability is a topic that conforms to most of the populations’ values.
Sustain Life says in their article How to attract employees through sustainability initiatives, to attract the best employees, organizations need to create and implement sustainability programs. These programs must be genuine and lacking any type of Greenwashing. If these programs are not genuine, the top-talent that they recruit will not stay and will look for an employer than genuinely cares about the ecosystem and sustainability.
Part of going sustainable is to get buy-in from leadership. Without leadership buying into a sustainability program, there will be no effort to go sustainable. Once top leadership buys in these other levels of the organization need to buy into sustainability programs as well. It is imperative that employees and stakeholders buy into these initiatives for them to be successful.
SDG fund states that it is important to raise internal awareness of sustainability programs with the employees of an organization. Only when the company employees are fully aware of the SDGs and knowledgeable of their potential impact, can they work to improve performance and to think more strategically about how to maximize the Agenda’s positive social, environmental and economic contribution. This requires communication. planning, and support from all levels of the organization.
The Society for Human Resource Management published a report titled: Role in Social and Environmental Sustainability outlining an organization’s Human Resources Department to educate and implement sustainability programs. This is done threefold: Partnering with executive leadership; Engaging with both internal and external stakeholders; and aligning all HRM processes within an organization to support sustainable business practices.
Employees can develop their understanding of, and commitment to, an organization’s sustainability values and goals through training and development. 2 In addition to building awareness, skills needed for behavioral changes are provided through targeted training in such areas as environmental stewardship or life cycle analysis. One way to ensure that employees understand sustainability techniques is to test employees on their knowledge of sustainability practices.
Protection of the environment should be a priority for any organization. Destruction of the environment leads directly to loss of habitat which negatively effects the environment and ecosystem. Not only are we in the largest mass-extinction event in history, which is speeding up in intensity, but this also directly leads to climate change. An example of this would be the loss of reefs in oceans around the world. Not only are reefs vital for a diverse range of life, but the also protect the land from harsh storms. Hurricanes are increasingly more powerful, and this is a direct result of the loss of reefs along the shoreline.
Every company, no matter how large or small, and everything in between, can develop programs to reduce their environmental impact. It is necessary for all companies to develop sustainability programs. Sustainability is a constant process that takes dedication and innovation, but can be done, there just needs to be the willingness to do it.