Employee sustainability engagement: A cheat sheet

Employee sustainability engagement A cheat sheet

Engaging employees in sustainability initiatives is crucial for any business sustainability strategy. Through this, business owners can foster a culture of environmental responsibility and innovation within an organisation. When employees are actively involved in sustainability efforts, they become ambassadors of change. 

This helps to drive eco-friendly practices and contributes to the company’s overall sustainability goals. Moreover, it not only enhances the organisation’s environmental impact but also boosts employee morale, satisfaction, and retention by aligning personal values with corporate actions. Keep reading to discover tips on how you can engage your employees on sustainability.

How to drive employee sustainability engagement

A survey conducted by Gallup finds that 79 percent of employees feel engaged in the workplace. Employees are a key stakeholder group, and this lack of engagement can equally mean a lack of awareness.

The lack of awareness can then manifest and create a disconnection within the organisation. Moreover, companies that incorporate sustainability into their talent acquisition strategies can also gain a strategic advantage and experience benefits such as improved brand reputation and a more productive workplace. Below is a cheat sheet for accelerating employee sustainability engagement.

Leadership commitment 

Leadership should visibly support and participate in sustainability initiatives, setting a clear example for the rest of the organisation. This not only sets the standard but inspires other team members to get involved.

Incorporate sustainability into the company’s vision

Ensure sustainability is embedded in your company’s core values and mission statement, making it a central part of your organisational identity. This helps employees understand why sustainability is important to your organisation.

Transparent communication

Regularly communicate your sustainability goals, progress, and achievements to employees. Transparency fosters trust and shows employees the impact of their contributions.

Education and training 

Provide training sessions or informative webinars to educate employees about sustainability practices and their environmental, social, and economic benefits. For instance, our Diploma in Business Sustainability course is curated by industry experts and offers a comprehensive overview of sustainability in business and practical strategies to implement.

Define roles and responsibilities

Give inductions on sustainability to new employees. This helps to strengthen the role of sustainability in the brand culture and ensures everyone is aware and able to contribute to the company’s sustainability objectives.

Recognition and rewards

Recognise and reward employees and teams who make significant contributions to sustainability efforts. This could be through awards, acknowledgements in company communications, or tangible rewards. For instance, LEGO recently announced an initiative which will see the brand link employee bonuses to emissions reduction goals

Volunteering and community projects

Organise volunteering opportunities related to environmental conservation and sustainability. Engaging with the community can provide a tangible sense of achievement and impact. Through doing this, your business can also focus on its social sustainability efforts. 

Integrate sustainability into everyday practices 

Make it easy for employees to participate in sustainability initiatives by integrating eco-friendly practices into their daily work lives, such as recycling programs, energy-saving measures, and digital documentation to reduce paper use.

Final thoughts

Environmental action goes beyond individual efforts and sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. There are many advantages to engaging employees on sustainability, from accelerating sustainability efforts, boosting morale, encouraging creativity, and fostering collaboration, among others. 

In addition to benefits for the business, engaging employees on sustainability gives them the opportunity to upskill and enhance their professional profiles. Ultimately, employee engagement in sustainability is a key ingredient for achieving long-term environmental, social, and economic success.

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