Half of UK employers are not involving HR in their climate strategies, according to research from Willis Towers Watson.
Its HR and climate change study has found that while almost all companies feel that employees have a key role in how they deliver their climate strategies, only half had involved HR in delivery.
Forty per cent had no intention of involving HR in their climate plans in future, furthermore.
As the UK prepares to host the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November, many employers are considering their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies.
However, Willis Towers Watson found that only 13% of organisations have a written climate statement included in their employer value proposition (EVP). Just a fifth communicate their climate strategy and targets to employees.
Many organisations had made progress in different areas, such as forming dedicated climate change teams or creating board-level roles such as chief sustainability officer. A quarter have introduced climate-related pay incentives for executives, it found.
HR and ESG
One such employer is Boohoo, which announced it would link executives’ bonuses to ESG goals in May this year.
Amanda Scott, GB head of talent and rewards at Willis Towers Watson said it was “critical” for HR to play a role in organisations’ climate change agenda.
“From embedding climate strategies into EVP, to designing measurable objectives and links to performance-based pay, HR is an area that can make or break the success of a company’s climate strategy,” she said.
“Investors, employees and potential new hires are all looking at how companies are responding to the climate crisis.
“HR professionals must convert their organisation’s climate strategy into an engaging ambition that colleagues choose to support and they will be measured on how well they enable and motivate employees to contribute to the transition to net zero.”
A survey by the Institute of Directors earlier this year found that most businesses no longer rank their core purpose as generating profit.
Almost half of directors felt that companies should have a stated social purpose to help solve problems in society, and over 90% said they had a purpose, mission, or vision that guides themselves and their companies.