HR professionals have been urged to gather evidence showing how sustainable development policies help to improve recruitment, retention and employee motivation.
Leading ‘green’ businesses from across Europe discussed the positive impact business can have on climate change, and how employees can improve their companies’ carbon footprints, at an environmental conference in Amsterdam last week.
Environmental charity Forum for the Future, which works on sustainable policies for companies including BP, Tesco and Unilever, said it was critical for HR to provide solid evidence that sustainability policies were linked to profitability.
James Goodman, sustainability expert at the forum, told Personnel Today: “There are dangers that once a sustainable development policy is written, it becomes filed away, as commercial objectives come to the fore. HR has a huge role to play – it needs to get evidence and collect data to show that having a policy and sticking to it makes a difference in recruitment, retention and motivation.”
He added: “Having a sustainable development policy should attract new staff, but companies must also see the policy linking to increased profitability.”
Carpet manufacturer InterfaceFLOR, which hosted the conference, is working towards achieving a zero carbon footprint by 2020. It uses sustainable development training and bonus schemes linked to low waste output to engage its staff.