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P5.1: Recruitment and Retention


Companies will incorporate sustainability criteria into recruitment protocols, employee performance processes, compensation and incentives.
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GE is finding sustainability to be a significant draw for the best and brightest employees.  GE’s senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, Beth Comstock, cites the company’s Ecomagination and Healthymagination programs for helping to make GE an “unmatched magnet for talent."14

Check out Roadmap in Action for more examples of how companies are implementing the Ceres Roadmap.

If sustainability is to be more than a company talking point then sustainability criteria should be embedded in each employee’s goals, job responsibilities, and performance incentives – not just in the incentive plans for senior executives.

Many companies now include sustainability criteria in job descriptions and performance assessments so that employees and managers will be willing to consider projects other than those offering the greatest financial return on investment. In addition, credible corporate sustainability programs help companies stand out from the crowd as employers of choice to attract top talent.

A number of companies are integrating aspects of sustainability into their human resource recruitment and employee orientation processes, covering concerns such as labor relations, health and safety, environmental protection and ethics. The components and structure of this employee compensation should be disclosed in the company’s sustainability report by, for example, listing the percentage of overall compensation by environmental and social performance category.

Just as companies have continuous improvement systems in place to engage workers in identifying and addressing quality issues, companies should have formal systems in place to incentivize and capture employee ideas and feedback on the sustainability vision and goals, and on innovations that will help the company to achieve them.


In The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on The Ceres Roadmap For Sustainability, we evaluated 600 of the largest U.S. companies on their progress towards meeting the expectations laid forth in the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability using data compiled and analyzed by Sustainalytics.

For this first report it was not possible to capture all of the data required to fully assess all of The Ceres Roadmap expectations.  For some Ceres Roadmap expectations, companies are not yet disclosing the information needed to assess their progress and in other cases, we did not have access to the type of data needed to adequately assess corporate progress.

We will be looking at additional indicators in the future to capture the meaning of the expectations more completely and will develop new indicators to capture data as it is more readily disclosed by companies.