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P5.2: Training and Support


Companies will develop and implement formal training on key sustainability issues for all executives and employees, and facilitate coaching, mentoring and networks for sustainability knowledge sharing.
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Campbell Soup is pushing to achieve 100 percent employee engagement in CSR and sustainability issues by 2020. The company requires that every employee have a “CSRoriented goal” in their annual performance objectives. Read more...

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

Companies need to empower their employees to think systemically about the company’s operations and sustainability. The company should undertake training needs analysis and set training goals and strategies in the same way that they do for other aspects of an employee’s job. Results should be assessed and the program improved based on feedback.

All employees should be trained on the broad sustainability challenges facing the company such as energy use and diversity and inclusion, as well as on the handling of specific issues they encounter in the context of their individual roles.


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 expectation we evaluated how companies integrated sustainability into company culture and assessed initiatives to engage and educate employees on relevant topics. Specific programs may include formal training, integration into orientation and professional development, strategic employee engagement and feedback mechanisms, internal employee communication, and the formation of employee-led committees, working groups and green teams.

Tier description - 3Thirty percent of the 600 companies have some sustainability oriented employee engagement activities in place, with the eight percent (47) of companies included in Tiers 1 and 2 maintaining specific programs that integrate sustainability into the overall company culture, such as formal sustainability training for employees and mechanisms for the collaborative solicitation of feedback and ideas.

While many companies have internal newsletters or intranets that convey sustainability information, others go further by offering regular training and education programs, working groups and formal employee committees. Wells Fargo has 40 “Green Teams” across its U.S. operations and the company has extended its employee engagement programs to include retail employees. “Sustainability Agents” are locally designated to support the education of other employees on Wells Fargo’s sustainability initiatives and to address related customer questions.

To encourage employees to embed citizenship into their daily actions, The Walt Disney Company hosts an annual two-day Environmental Summit for global employees, bringing together leaders from across the company to share leading practices for environmental projects, network and create opportunities for innovative thinking.

A company’s sustainability agenda also influences recruitment. Some sectors—including Autos & Transportation, Oil & Gas and Utilities—are being challenged to adapt to a changing energy economy with an increasingly insufficient supply of skilled workers. Targeted recruitment programs that communicate a company’s sustainability agenda can be very helpful in recruiting ‘the best and the brightest,’ including those with highly specialized skills in clean technology, sustainable design or environmental engineering. Over the past five years Ford Motor Company has doubled the number of employees working on its fuel saving technologies. The company now has more than 1000 engineers working on hybrid and electrification programs and announced that in 2012 it would be tripling production capacity of its hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in the U.S. compared with 2011.15



All 600 companies have been generically assessed for this expectation. Go to the Sector Performance section for additional analysis of the nine priority sectors, covering 251 companies: Autos & Transportation, Financial Services, Food & Beverage, Footwear & Apparel, Retail, Technology Hardware, Technology Software & Services, Oil & Gas Producers and Utilities.

Click on a performance tier to view more information on how companies are performing.

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[23] Priority Sector Companies in Mediocre in 2012