Employees and Sustainability: 3 Initiatives to Engage them

Is it getting warmer by you? Weather is becoming more extreme in all seasons, and we are seeing far fewer ‘mild days’ than in the past.

These are some of the many consequences of climate change, which will get worse if we do nothing (like the disappearance of coastal cities, uninhabitable lands, mass extinctions, earthquakes, floods, disease).

It is safe to assume that your employees are concerned, especially if they’re Millennials or Gen Z, who are much more likely than their older colleagues to make job retention decisions based on sustainability initiatives.

Now, even if you have a blue recycling bin in your kitchen and the words ‘please do not print this email’ in your signature, you can still do much more to make sure employees see company commitment to sustainability and ensure it is felt in the culture as well as in the bottom line of both profitability and carbon footprint.

The path to sustainability commitment starts the leadership, values and actions of an organization.

Sustainable Leadership

Encourage sustainability from all sides and support change.

If you want your employees to engage in sustainability, you have to create the fertile ground for it. This means encouraging change, ideas and innovation in the way things are done that could have a significant impact.

Unilever‘s sustainability slogan is ‘Small actions can make a big difference’ and employees around the world have understood this. Workers at the PG tips tea factory in Trafford Park, England, realized that most tea in Britain is packaged in paper bags. By reducing the end seals of each tea bag by 3 millimeters, they saved 15 reels of paper for each shift. Since its launch in 2015, this factory floor suggestion has resulted in savings of 47,500 euros and 9.3 tons of paper (about 20,500 lbs).

To inspire change, these initiatives must be on everyone’s agenda and rewarded throughout the organization. Rather than going unnoticed or maintaining the status quo, involving employees in sustainability means empowering them to inspire real change.

Sustainable Values

Where does Sustainable Leadership gain direction? From sustainable values. Just as Unilever inspired its employees with its sustainability slogan, organizations that want to make sustainable change need to take the time to discover their brand’s connection to sustainability and imbed it into the culture.

These values must be in line with what the company does, what it sets out to do and how it can help usher in a new sustainable shift.

At AWorld, our values are Positive Impact, Community, Transparency and Our Shared Home, and we strive to infuse them into everything we do.

Sustainable Action

The difficult part can be connecting values to actions.

Employees are often concerned about voicing their sustainability initiatives, because they are afraid of going against the company’s bottom line. Because of this, the values of the organization must make the business case for sustainability extremely clear.

We can achieve this through the principles of Leadership and Values, and by linking both initiatives to action.

By collaborating with AWorld, we create sustainability competence that enables all stakeholders to promote sustainability initiatives in their own lives and at work. We encourage healthy competition among employees to see who has generated the most impact savings and give our partners the opportunity to reward this behavior.

We also integrate into third-party platforms so that everyone, internally and externally, can see the work done to save water, CO2, electricity and promote acts of kindness.

By doing all this with AWorld, we show a higher purpose and create a culture of sustainability that will foster long-term commitment and change.

We have the data to prove it.

Conclusion

AWorld aims to boost engagement with your employees and activate them as a key part of your sustainability transition.

Learn more about employee engagement with AWorld.

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