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How HR can support reach net zero

Businesses are facing mounting pressure to become more sustainable. As new research reveals that two-thirds of UK employees feel it’s essential for the company they work for to be committed to acting sustainably, driving greener practices now plays a crucial role in employee retention and engagement. Here we look at how HR can support reach net zero.

Improving your sustainability practices actively boosts employee engagement 

British workers rank a clear social/ ethical purpose higher than factors like remote or hybrid working opportunities when looking for new roles, and 68% of employees say they would like to work for an employer that is doing something positive for the future of our planet.   

Amidst the global talent shortage and recovery from COVID-19, businesses need to look to the human aspects of work to appeal to new talent – and define clear sustainability goals to help make a tangible impact and drive greener internal practices.   

So, how can you ensure your business keeps sustainability high on the agenda?  

  • Ensure workplace policies reflect your sustainability goals  

Following COP 26 and the government’s strategy to ensure the UK economy hits net-zero by 2050, many businesses have updated their corporate values to include social and environmental goals. The first quarter of the year provides an excellent opportunity to review your current processes and practices to ensure they reflect your goals, communicating any changes to your workforce.  

  • Make ‘going green’ part of your culture 

Once your policies accurately reflect your goals and have been communicated throughout your organisation, you can look at how you can embed these working behaviours within your company culture.   

For example, you could encourage your teams to go paperless and promote recycling or ensure that lights are off when meeting rooms are unoccupied. Though simple, these measures can positively impact when used as part of your overall sustainability initiative.  

Some businesses may select a small team of people responsible for driving greener practices in the workplace, providing all employees with the opportunity to share ideas and engage with your business values.  

Green initiatives should also be encouraged ‘outside’ of the workplace. You could promote more environmentally friendly commutes for office workers by participating in schemes like Cycle2Work, or provide discounts on energy-efficient appliances for your hybrid workforce.  

You could also partner with an environmental charity that aligns with your sustainability goals, plant a tree for every purchase made, or one for each employee.  

  • Raise awareness  

Some employees may understand their role in helping to become more sustainable at work, but others may need guidance to ensure your practices have a real impact. Providing training for all staff members will help communicate your sustainability goals and how these impact the business. Outline how each member of the team can play their part in becoming more environmentally friendly and make your company become more sustainable.  

To help define your sustainability goals, please contact the hr inspire team today on 01296 325 720. 

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