Sustainability is no longer a buzzword and companies are putting more and more measures into place to contribute to reaching the sustainable development goals. But besides looking into your production, supply chain and processes to find areas for improvement, don’t forget the most relevant “resource” in your company: your team.
Even the best sustainability strategy in a company will not be effective if it is not implemented by the employees. People & Culture Management is therefore a key success factor for sustainability. Additionally, increasing awareness among current and potential employees also sends a clear message to companies: Employees want to have a positive impact on the environment and society in and through their work. Managing directors and HR managers are therefore in a unique position to empower employees to achieve this. This can have a positive impact on employer branding, employee motivation and retention, as well as on the achievement of company-wide sustainability goals.
Sustainability is a very broad and not clearly defined term, so it can be difficult to find a starting point here. Therefore, it is recommended to start with an inventory - what does the company understand by sustainability, which aspects are particularly important and is sustainability already lived in the company?
As a next step, you should work out aspects of sustainability that you want to focus on. These can then be consistently translated into sustainability goals and measures. Existing frameworks that break down different aspects of sustainability and options for initiatives are a good starting point. Examples include:
Based on the strategy and objectives, concrete measures for sustainable HR management can then be derived. The rule here is "done is better than perfect!" - even small steps are a contribution to a more sustainable world! There are many resource-saving measures that can be implemented quickly and are also well suited for small and medium-sized companies. Potential areas for this are:
It is important that the strategy and measures are aligned with the company and its employees and are consistent with the values they live by. In this way, the commitment of the company and its employees can be integrated into everyday life in a targeted and authentic manner.