Get your employees involved in sustainable efforts for lasting, impactful change.
Many companies have a sincere desire to pursue and reap the benefits of sustainability. And while good PR is always desirable, much of corporate America is looking to deliver more than just the image of responsibility.
Like many trends in global business these changes are being driven by profits. “Doing good” is now “good for business.” Sustainability has come to be seen as a competitive advantage, particularly in the last 5–10 years, which has led to a lot of initiatives that are making the world a better place. And now that the business community is more likely to be the hero than the villain in many sustainability stories, they’re eager to get the word out.
But how do you speak of your achievements and impact without coming across as shady or self-serving? The first step is to get your own house in order, starting with the people who work for you.
One of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the last few years is that corporations are doing a much better job involving their employees in all of the sustainability aspects of their business. Many businesses now consider it essential to enroll and engage their own people, encouraging them to take personal ownership of the company’s sustainable values instead of simply towing a line that comes from corporate.
Today the message is no longer, “you should be proud of the company for what we’re doing.” It’s “we need you to help with this every day so that we become the responsible company we want to be.” Some of these messages eventually form the basis for external campaigns as well, but their first goal is to encourage internal staff and corporate partners to live the ideals the organization wants to present to the outside world.
The benefits of having your entire staff on board are significant. For starters, your leadership team doesn’t have to do everything alone. People who work on the “front lines” of your company are more likely to have insights about how to eliminate waste and make production more efficient. Best of all, engagement helps to transform your employees into true believers who care about your mission, supporting your sustainable positioning when they interface with your customers.
For more sustainability strategies that are working for the world’s leading companies, download our parathink briefing: Beyond Green: The Expanding Role of Sustainability. Click here to get your free copy.
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