VISION: COMPANIES WILL MAKE SUSTAINABILITY CONSIDERATIONS A CORE PART OF RECRUITMENT, COMPENSATION, AND TRAINING, AND WILL ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE CHOICES.
The commitment of employees and other workers will continue to be a critical resource in moving a company towards sustainability – especially if sustainability is going to drive a competitive advantage for the company. Before their commitment and energy towards meeting the company’s broader sustainability goals and policies can be counted upon, however, the company will need to demonstrate that employees are themselves respected. Sustainability begins at home.
In the section on Governance for Sustainability we highlighted the need for companies to adopt human rights policies committing the company to uphold the highest standards in relation to, among other things, employee health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and labor rights.
Beyond treating its people properly, obtaining the engagement of employees means demonstrating to them that sustainability is embraced at the core of the enterprise. Demonstrating such commitment entails embedding sustainability deep into the company culture. That culture begins with each new hiring decision, and extends to training, performance management and the values that bind the company together as a community.
Where companies demonstrate a firm commitment toward sustainability they benefit from improved recruitment and retention rates, employee morale and productivity, and lower healthcare costs. At least one study has found that companies that effectively engage employees on sustainability issues outperform others by wide margins, demonstrating 2.6 times higher earnings-to-share growth rates.