What can HR do to pump up the ESG volume?

January 30, 2022

The great resignation and the global pandemic left many sectors such as the technology sector, the retail sector, and health sector scrambling for employees either because they had to work from home, or they face a high risk of infection.

Now more than ever the CHROs have a seat at the table but for some reason they are neither taking advantage of this position nor are they trying to solve the biggest issue that their organisations may have and that is employee activism and specifically focused toward saving our planet.

More than ever, the most important priority for CHROs is talent attraction and retention. According to Deloitte’s 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey, these younger generations want to work for companies that share their values for a purpose beyond profit and in which they feel more empowered to make a difference as part of an organization. Savvy recruiters are leveraging purpose-driven sustainability and DEI knowledge to attract these employees. (Greenbiz)

“Employees are increasingly interested in environmental issues in a way we haven’t previously seen; they are increasingly concerned about waste, sustainability and carbon emissions. We are seeing a new activism where people who aren’t usually politically active have been motivated to do something given the urgency and ominous position we are currently in if immediate action isn’t taken to protect the planet.” (Jaluch HR)

In one of our blogs, we have identified how investors, customers and employees are demanding from organisations to report on their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance and how these organisations need to reassess their strategy to meet these new demands. In a McKinsey analysis of employee sentiment, 63 percent of employees surveyed said they want their employer to provide more opportunities for purpose in their day-to-day work.

To know more about how we worked with our clients' HR teams to embed ESG into their corporate culture book a FREE discovery call

So how can the HR department incorporate ESG into the corporate culture?

  1. Stop focusing only on the social impact of their organisations and start looking into the environmental and governance impact.
  2. Fully understand the environmental issues that their organisation is facing and how these issues are being addressed.
  3. An employer value proposition (EVP) tells the story of who they are and what they believe in, and it should weaved into every stage of the recruitment lifecycle, as well as in their organisation’s culture afterwards. incorporating sustainability into their EVP will ensure that everyone that joins the business is on the same page.
  4. Ensure that their sustainability goals are crucial to their recruitment and onboarding process. This could be achieved by including questions about sustainability in the interview meeting and included in the employee handbook.  
  5. Review their processes and work practices to ensure that they are in line with their organisation’s sustainability goals and strategy.
  6. Deliver short, regular training sessions on sustainability and all environmental issues.
  7. Ask existing employees to share their ideas and best practice. 100% of the ideas we implemented for our clients came from their employees. People love sharing ideas if you provided them with the opportunity to do so.
  8. Provide the tools to help employees be more sustainable. During our work with a client we built an app that would help employees calculate their carbon foot print and due to this app, the client was able to reduce its scope 3 by 5%.
  9. All employees should be sustainability champions across all levels and geographies. For example, Marks and Spencer has sustainability ‘champions’ in every store and Unilever has sustainability ‘ambassadors’ throughout the organisation. (Sage)
  10. Once the identified what needs to be improved and how, it is time to put KPIs and measurement tools in place. This will help the team have a clear roadmap and milestones which they can measure and consequently be accountable for.  

The HR team can set up a unique space for themselves which will place them as the trailblazers of sustainable businesses that places ESG as its highest priority along profit and reputational growth. So what are you planning to do to help with pumping up the sustainability volume?

We can help you take your ESG communications strategy to the next level. Get in touch with Communique today to access our exclusive team of global experts who will work with you to develop and promote full ESG integration for your organisation.


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