Why protecting nature should be on top of CEO’s priorities

CRS Trends  »  Climate action   »   Why protecting nature should be on top of CEO’s priorities

Taking care of the planet is no longer a nice-to-have for businesses, rather, it is an indispensable priority of any CEO today; from combating climate change to ensuring employee wellbeing or maintaining credibility among society, the protection of nature is a must.

Protecting nature has long been in political, social and business agendas, especially as the consequences of climate change began to increasingly limit our way of life, economic model, production systems, or governmental endeavors.

In fact, as for today, it seems to have taken a lead role in defining trust for society’s actors, leaving businesses ahead of providing positive environmental and social outcomes in their overall business performance. But how can just protecting nature create such an extensive impact and baseline for trust?

protect nature

What do people look for in businesses?

According to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer, people not only look for businesses to provide positive and meaningful environmental and social impact, they in fact put most of their trust in the latter actor, surpassing trust in governments, media or NGOs. 

In other words, a majority of people globally look at businesses as a trustworthy and reliable actor. That being because of their social and environmental role, or the influence of the information provided by a given company, it seems clear that businesses are the last remaining uniting force in an increasingly polarized world. 

But if we look even deeper into the report’s findings, it is in fact employers that get most recognition from respondents, meaning people look up to their own company members as trustworthy actors, more so than political or social environments in which divisiveness seems to be growing people apart. 

What do people expect from CEO's?

With such trust put upon employers and businesses alike, it is the natural next step for people to expect CEO’s to act upon and take a public stand on current societal issues. According to Edelman, there are five recurrent topics respondents answered.

In order of their relevance, we find the treatment of employees, climate change, discrimination, the wealth gap, and immigration. 

CSR communication

This time we want to focus on the first two topics, this is, the treatment or wellbeing of employees, and climate change, with an 89% and 82% of respondents agreeing upon them respectively. In fact, we believe these two areas are closely related to each other.

Climate change and employee wellbeing

Protecting nature and combating climate change is not just a nice-to-have, it is in fact an indispensable priority for businesses; as regulations grow, so do society’s demands for transparent and responsible actions and practices. But how policies aimed at protecting nature be beneficial for employees? 

There are two ways to understand this correlation and its benefits; on the one hand, we can talk about HR related benefits, on the other, we are referring to overall social and community benefits that inevitably will affect employees. 

climate change and employees
Climate change, employees and the benefits of HR

Among the primary concerns of employees in the workplace (specially younger generations) is the need to align their values with the company’s. In this same line, sustainability has actually become one of the main reasons workers feel a sense of pride and belonging in their companies, as sustainability and everything that it implies has become central to their values and concerns.

But how does sustainability relate to the treatment of employees? Well, in the fight against climate change and in the effort to protect nature, employees become a central part of the sustainability strategy; their values, ideas, behaviors and actions can really shape how the company works, as well as how the organizations reputation is portrayed towards the outside world. 

So it only makes sense that employees would be an active part of such environmental and social efforts to create a positive impact, bringing them closer to the company’s purpose, creating a sense of belonging, and most importantly, creating a culture of sustainability while working towards meaningful objectives. 

Guide to employee wellbeing

Why does employee experience matter? And why should companies prioritize it?
How protecting nature improves employees' health

Protecting nature can improve everybody’s health, and companies have a great influence and impact for doing so, for their communities and even beyond the latter. So logically, businesses’ efforts to protect nature can in turn improve employees’ health and wellbeing. 

According to a recent study, people can actually see health benefits and improvements by just spending two hours in nature throughout the week. This phenomenon is also known as ecopsychology or how the immersion in nature improves health

Businesses can play a key role in making sure their actions and practices are not only respectful with the environment and nature, but actually help protect it and restore it. From local to national policy advocacy, making nature more accesible in people’s lives is a winning situation for everybody. 

credibility and sustainability
DoGood helps you prioritize climate change and employees

In DoGood we advocate for the importance of making small but meaningful changes in our everyday life in order to find purpose and a more healthy relationship with what is around us. 

Through our technology we help companies establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. We are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.