Sustainable companies and the link between attracting top talent

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Today, phrases such as climate change, global warming, and sustainability are much more than common buzzwords. The current global reality is that we are facing a climate emergency. Yet some businesses have started to make changes- sustainable companies are embracing greener practices as part of their business models- and are reaping the rewards. The gains from reducing their carbon footprint by minimising plastic use or by installing solar roof panels are multiple. Not only do these initiatives have huge impacts on they environment, but they energise employees, build positivity, and help attract top talent.

In fact new data shows that sustainable companies have a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and managing talent. And why not? People feel good about working at places that understand today’s climate emergency- they feel their work is meaningful. In a study by Unily, 65% of employees said they would be more likely to work for an employer that had robust environmental policies.

Let’s look at the facts

  • 1 in 3 employees would take a salary cut to work for a more sustainable organisation
  • Employee engagement rises when they are actively involved in sustainability initiatives and feel empowered that their actions are making a difference. What’s more, employees who work at an sustainable company often feel that their employer is more likely to care for them.
  • Firms whose culture empowers them to consciously work towards reducing their carbon footprint appeal to today’s environmentally friendly workforce.
  • Sustainability helps job seekers connect organisational values to their own personal values.

The current generation wants more than just a paycheck; they seek to work for organisations that coincide with their personal beliefs,” suggests Inc. columnist

Paul Spiegelman

And with the demand for skilled talent even more prevalent today as jobs continue to become both more technical and specialised, attracting and managing top talent is more important than ever.

So, as an employer how does one stand out?

The answer is simple – environmental consciousness matters in the battle for talent.

Ideas for becoming a more sustainable company are emerging in various forms. Take U.K retailer, Marks and Spencer, one of the pioneers of sustainability. The fashion giant partners with the charity Oxfam to resell used clothes and also uses eco-friendly materials like recyclable nylon and organic cotton in their clothing lines. While some companies are focusing on product-related environmental benefits, others are looking at their working practices and reducing their carbon footprint by using virtual training via online training platforms. Rather than sticking with costly face-to-face (F2F) traditional classroom style training many are now making the move to coach-led live online delivery methods for their training.

Virtual training is a small step, with a massive impact, and is fast becoming the primary training tool for organisations. There are a multitude of factors motivating companies to permanently shift to a virtual learning environment. Alongside the environmental impact, working virtually can make a huge difference financially to organisations.

1. Zero Travel: Online training allows employees to log-in from the comfort of their homes and other remote locations. Travel for just one employee to get to a F2F training session could be up to $1,000 (£784) depending upon the location. Zero travel allows sustainable companies to reduce their carbon footprint easily and simply.

2. Waste: On average, an event or conference generates 2.5 pounds of landfill waste, per person, per day– a virtual conference practically eliminates that all. Digital resources such ebooks and playbooks eliminate the expense and wastage that stems from printing training manuals, workbooks and other paper based materials, while virtual learning features such as screen sharing, post-it apps and virtual workbook also save on stationary costs for businesses.

3. Global Workforce: Increasingly, companies are scaling with the help of a global and therefore disparate workforce. Training through an online training platform is one way to leverage the expanded and diverse talent pool that now works remotely.

4. Carbon footprint: Transitioning from an in person to a virtual event can reduce the carbon footprint by 94%.

5. Emissions: Virtual meetings helped reduce 23.29 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2020

Committing to a virtual way of working has a direct impact on your organisation’s efforts to build a scalable and sustainable business. It is a significant, mindful step that helps address our current climate emergency.

The virtual learning environment strikes a deep chord with today’s environmentally aware and greener workforce. Employees are not only more engaged due the ease of using a digital platform, but they also understand that fully embracing a virtual working environment is a true sign of of a sustainable company.

It is the small, consistent steps that add up to create significant impact. Adopting carbon-conscious practices into your business is easier than you think, and switching to online training platforms is one step in the right direction. Be a carbon friendly leader and move towards the future with a learning environment that is innovative, sustainable, and environmentally conscious. In today’s world, employees are increasingly driven to work for comapanies who are committed to sustainability. If businesses want to make a carbon difference, and continue to retain and recruit talent, something has to change.

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