Sustainability has already proven to be a necessary and central part of any business strategy, helping improve both company results and our planet. But as sustainability strategies grow, its importance becomes clearer, specially in HR related matters.
More and more, HR departments are taking in sustainability as a central part of their strategy and daily processes. The importance and the need to build a healthy and strong work culture is increasingly difficult to separate from the idea of sustainability.
In this regard, the concept of building a sustainability culture throughout the entire organization is gaining popularity; but what does this imply? And how is it beneficial to HR and the company?
The growing role of sustainability in businesses
It is undeniable how sustainability has taken over the business world and the investment market with concepts such as ESG, SDGs or the most recent European regulations on the matter. In fact, sustainability has become an almost compulsory requirement for many companies.
But even for those which are yet to be affected by regulations, sustainability is a necessary element and an increasingly complex competitive advantage. In other words, the global market is leaving little to no space to those who choose to ignore sustainability.
Similarly, consumers are also more aware and more willing to make sustainable choices and leave uncompromised companies behind.
But the importance sustainability has on businesses overall, in their strategies, respect for the planet and progress towards climate objectives, has now translated into its human resources and culture, making HR managers and directors rethink the value of sustainability for their organizations.
The value and importance of sustainability for HR
As sustainability becomes a central part of companies, it also becomes part of the purpose as a consequence. But this is not enough to make a good hearted purpose such as the wellbeing of the planet and society shine through; and it is precisely here where HR departments take a crucial role in advancing sustainability.
Here we have gathered two main reasons why sustainability and HR should be closely related and jointly developed for a company’s overall success and its employees’ wellbeing:
Talent attraction and retention
As we mentioned earlier, investors and consumers are more aware than ever about the importance of sustainability, and make choices based upon how this concept relates to the company they choose to support or ignore. In the same manner, people look for jobs and opportunities with the filter of sustainability. This is particularly true for the younger and upcoming generations that are now starting to flood the job market.
According to recent studies, a good working environment and flexibility is among the main concerns young people have when choosing a job.
But aligning their values to the company is the next concern in line; meaning young workers look for a place to work where they can share their values with the company’s purpose.
In fact, sustainability has 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.
Advancing sustainability throughout the company
Although having a designated department to develop and apply sustainability strategies and processes is important, it is also key to have sustainability run deep into the company’s DNA and purpose, but how?
The first question we need to ask ourselves is: can we talk about a company purpose if the latter is not embedded in the people who make such purpose posible every day? It is the answer to this question that gives us the key to understand how HR can help advance sustainability throughout the entire organization.
The idea we present here is is simple, if a company wants to work for a more sustainable purpose and portray an image in line with environmental and social wellbeing, the people who make up the company need to think and act accordingly.
Employees are a central part of sustainability; 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.
Building a culture of sustainability
In DoGood we are convinced of the need to understand and manage efforts to achieve a sustainable transition inside an organization for the correct and efficient functioning of the business and the community it operates in.
We alone cannot achieve the substantial changes necessary, but we work on the basis of collaboration, transparency and accuracy.
Working collectively can help us find that which alone may seem unattainable, making the workplace is the perfect environment to find that collective eagerness to make a difference, both for the sustainability and purpose of the company and a more sustainable way of being for all employees.
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.
If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here.