Sustainability has become a key element of doing business in any industry. However, running a sustainable business can be challenging and involves engaging employees in your sustainability mission. Developing a strong sustainability culture allows employees to commit to sustainability and implement the environmentally friendly initiatives that best suit the company. Your organisational culture refers to the company’s mission and vision. However, there is much more to consider, such as the daily interaction between employees and managers or your team’s attitude to their daily responsibilities. Today we will provide you with our expert tips to cultivate a culture of sustainability and ensure that your company is striving for a greater purpose other than profit.
Create A Sustainability Vision
Establishing a sustainability vision will help your company determine the direction in which it wants to move in. Therefore, it is critical to develop a picture of the future that is easy to communicate. As new challenges arise, you should adapt the sustainability vision accordingly. Then you will need to ensure that your company’s sustainability vision is remembered and celebrated in different ways.
For example, this might involve organising events, such as sustainability weeks, team competitions, as well as communication campaigns. It might also be a good idea to involve employees’ families, encouraging them to introduce sustainable practices at home.
Explore Effective Solutions
You will need to develop a solid understanding of your company’s impact and potential for sustainable growth. This can be done by exploring effective solutions and strategies to tackle environmental issues, such as climate change.
Take a look at this Business and Climate Change online short course from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, which is designed to show you how to combat climate change in your context and, through the process of decarbonising your business, identify new opportunities for innovation. It delves deep into the importance of this topic, providing you with guidelines on how to create a positive impact within your sphere of influence. You will also learn more about real-world examples of low carbon initiatives.
Get Involved In Local Initiatives
No matter how much effort you put into designing a sustainability strategy, there might be a few employees who might not want to get involved straightaway. It is advisable to provide them with a sense of relevance by looking for local community initiatives that your company can support.
Following successful involvement with community initiatives, these employees can witness the tangible results, which can increase their motivation to get involved again. To ensure success, focus on achieving goals related to employees’ daily lives and personal values.
Participate In Sustainability Forums
There are many issues that your business might want to learn about. However, nowadays, it can be challenging to always keep up with the best practices out there.
Consider participating in sustainability forums where public, private, and third sectors meet to discuss innovative sustainability practices. This can provide you with ideas on how to develop a culture of sustainability that will show your employees that you are committed to making positive changes. You may also have the chance to make new business connections and partnerships.
Implement Green Practices
Think about creating a more sustainable office so that you can save money and energy. For example, you may consider using renewable energy, as green power sources are now more accessible than ever. Also, you can try going paperless by printing less in general and using e-statements and invoices instead of paper documents.
There are also many benefits of choosing LED lighting in your office, such as providing a better work setting for employees and increasing energy efficiency. Where possible, you should try to maximise natural light as well.
Provide Sustainability Training
Employees should not only understand the idea of sustainability and developing a green culture, but they should also be aware of the reasons why the company is focused on sustainability. This means that your message needs to be clear so that employees feel more aligned with the company’s mission. Sustainability training can take place in a variety of ways by using a combination of internal and external resources.
For instance, you can start by hosting monthly meetings with the aim of discussing different topics related to business sustainability. Also, it might be helpful to establish a training budget that enables employees to attend seminars or conferences.
Put Together A Green Team
If you are looking to truly engage employees and establish a sustainability culture, you will not only just need leadership from management, but at all levels of the organisation.
It can be helpful to set up a green team made up of passionate individuals across all levels and departments of the company. These people should be eager to contribute to the organisation’s sustainability efforts. This will confirm the idea of a greater movement happening and will encourage participation from other team members as well. You will find that many employees will be interested in participating in something that aligns with their core values.
Organise Regular Meetings
Holding meetings on a regular basis is a great way to allow cross-collaboration between different departments and areas of the business. It will also enable you to track progress and communicate results with the rest of the team. Keep employees fully informed about company updates when it comes to broader sustainability goals. Explain how company initiatives are benefiting the environment and your local community.
You may also want to include general news about eco-trends or worldwide sustainability activities that might interest your employees. Regular meetings will help you stay on track with your goals, ensuring that every employee can feel like a sustainability champion.
Be Open To Suggestions
When employees are empowered with education and the tools they need to make a positive environmental impact, they are more likely to embed sustainability into their daily routines. This means that you can avoid unwanted disruption to regular business culture. Instead, you can focus on making gradual changes and moving towards a culture of sustainability.
It is crucial to ensure that employees feel confident to share their ideas and suggestions, which may influence company actions. As a result, all employees can gain common ground on sustainability strategies.
Share Success Stories
It is important to show appreciation to employees who have adopted this culture by featuring their stories in a visible or public manner. If you are looking to promote employee engagement, you may also want to organise competitions with attractive incentives, such as a paid company volunteer day.
Remember to celebrate your employees’ success and show them that the company is committed to helping all stakeholders, including customers, partners, and the local community. For example, you can share awards, pictures, videos, and quotes on social media so that you can get more people involved.
Embed Sustainability In Employees’ Minds
Sustainability should become part of everyday interaction between employees and managers, from senior board meetings to sub-department lunches. When it comes to adopting new habits and getting accustomed to new ideas, repetition is key. Therefore, it might be beneficial for managers to mention sustainability during important speeches and presentations. This will portray sustainability as a main personal and organisational goal.
Managers can demonstrate that the company’s sustainability vision is not empty words but rather a top priority. As a result, the concept of sustainability and a green workplace culture will be embedded in employees’ minds.