Business Sustainability: What the Future Workforce is Looking For
September 10, 2021
written by Maya Gandhi
75% of Generation Z believe that employment should mean more than just a stable income. They look for workplaces that align with their personal values, desire purposeful roles, and are not afraid to call out unhealthy work cultures. So, what does this mean for businesses in 2021? If they hope to recruit the best talent and successfully adapt to the ever changing atmosphere, creating a diverse and meaningful work environment must be on the top of their agenda. Luckily, incorporating sustainability into business practices has the ability to transform a workplace into the perfect atmosphere for Generation Z employees to grow and prosper.
By implementing sustainable practices at work, businesses can experience decreased operational costs, increased employee engagement, and improved public image. Below are just a few of the actions your business can take to impress incoming employees and pave the way for a more sustainable future:
- Offer a Work-From-Home option even beyond the pandemic!
- Transportation comprises approximately 25% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than any other emitter. By offering the option of working from home for just one day per week, your workplace could encourage employees to be more cognizant of their emissions while simultaneously positively impacting the environment.
- Use sustainable products wherever possible!
- Making the use of paper a last resort, offering reusable K-Cups in the kitchenette, and placing recycling and compost bins in easy-to-find places in the building are great ways to show your employees that you care about the environment! Businesses can also make the effort to support primarily green businesses. For example, if you offer a catered lunch every Friday, why not support a restaurant with a variety of vegetarian and vegan options that uses sustainable packaging?
- Make energy efficient upgrades!
- Organizations like Green Economy London make it easy for businesses to set and achieve sustainability targets. Whether it is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste creation, or water consumption, businesses can easily be given the tools to make a difference. For small businesses, there are a variety of grants that can be used to finance sustainable appliances and electrical fixtures throughout your workplace!
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria
Not only can “greening” your business impress your employees and boost morale, but it can also improve your reputation with consumers and possible investors. When screening potential investments, ESG criteria is often used by socially conscious investors to judge if a company aligns with their preferences.
- Environmental criteria analyzes a company’s environmental stewardship. This could include a company’s energy use, waste, pollution, natural resource conservation, and treatment of animals.
- Social criteria considers how a company treats its employees, suppliers, customers, and communities.
- Governance criteria provides information regarding a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights. This could include letting an investor know that a company uses accurate and transparent accounting methods and does not use political contributions to influence the treatment of specific individuals or issues.
ESG criteria can also help investors discover a more holistic view of the financial risk that a company might pose by analyzing its effects on the environment.
It is now more important than ever to align your business with the environment and integrate positive change into your operations. As we progress into the future of business, we must remember that being purpose driven is a competitive advantage.
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