Are you creating a sustainable environmental future?

Following the warning this week from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the build-up to the forthcoming COP 26 climate change conference in Glasgow, what is your business or organisation doing to contribute to a sustainable environment, beyond having a recycling bin?

Human activity is cited as the main cause of climate change, and it is estimated that organisations contribute 17% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the UK in 2019.  This is mainly through their energy and resource use, transport and travel, waste management and supply chain.

As with many organisations, you may now have an environmental sustainability policy statement. This should explain clearly your organisation’s position on climate change, and be signed off by someone in a senior management role.  You may have already put some environmental sustainability steps in place and done some analysis around your strengths and weaknesses. Just as ‘diversity and inclusivity’ has become an expected part of the culture of organisations, so should environmental sustainability. Every action and decision taken in an organisation has an environmental impact.

On the people management side, you can also help embed environmental practices in specialist areas, such as leadership, recruitment and performance management.  For example:-

Leadership:  Show management’s commitment to environmental sustainability. The support and influence of your senior leaders to environmental sustainability is vital, if you are to engage your staff fully in tackling climate change in order to make an impact.

Recruitment:  Part of the selection process might include a candidate’s commitment to environmental issues and any initiatives they have introduced in previous organisations.    Job descriptions could include role-specific tasks or responsibilities relating to an aspect of environmental sustainability. For example, this might include all managers having responsibility for regularly measuring and reporting on the resource use in their area and taking actions to increase efficiency and reduce consumption and waste.

Performance Management:  Ensuring that individuals and teams can link specific personal objectives to the organisation’s overall mission and environmental strategy. It is necessary to outline the role of each individual in the organisation in terms of functions and responsibilities to ensure that performance management is successful.

If you would like to know more about senior management’s or HR’s role in making a sustainable environment future, please get in touch with Hafton by emailing us at info@haftonconsultancy.com.