Within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the 2030 Agenda, the sustainability of small and large companies has become an integral issue, which concerns the entire organizational structure and is intrinsic to corporate culture. In this sense, the OECD states that methods must be sought that encourage and support new sources of growth through innovation and technology based on environmentally sustainable strategies.
In fact, data affirms that 93% of CEOs see sustainability as essential to the growth and success of companies, according to a study by Ivey Business School.
A sustainability-based culture is achieved when all employees have internalized social, economic and environmental values. However, the ‘throwaway’ culture, immediacy and disregard for the future are still widespread.
Against this backdrop, Sodexo Benefits & Incentives has analyzed the keys to this new sustainability-based culture that companies are implementing.
Human resources teams are recruiting talent in line with the company’s philosophy.
The companies of the ‘green world’ or of change are looking for teams with ideas in line with their own to expand their corporate family. For this reason, they work to select employees with a commitment in line with the company’s strategy and with values that revolve around sustainability. According to the PWC study ‘Workforce of the future’, Human Resources departments are increasingly focused on the search for a sustainable culture that goes in the same direction as the business strategy, and this is what they transmit to their employees and future workers. In addition, 25% of the workers themselves are those who, when looking for a place to work, place value on the company having a philosophy and ethics in line with individual principles, according to this same study.
The definition of new office spaces.
As many companies are working on adapting spaces to comply with the security measures imposed by the pandemic, many companies have taken advantage of this change to modify work spaces to create more environmentally sustainable offices. As the main axis of this change, they have decided to include technology and digitalization, for example, they are working on the installation of the latest generation of screens to replace paper printing needs. Other measures also include the implementation of new energy sources that are 100% renewable, and the installation of new parking spaces for electric vehicles and bicycles. In addition, we are also working on including organic waste composting processes and eliminating single-use coffee cups. Positive environmental action and volunteering.
The promotion of sustainability should not only remain in the office, but companies can and should have a positive impact on their social environment, as has become evident during the months of the pandemic. Along these lines, companies are working on initiatives so that their employees can volunteer with NGOs, such as collecting food, toys, clothes or used computer equipment to donate to NGOs or associations. Many companies also encourage their employees to volunteer in tree planting and reforestation projects in areas affected by fires. These activities will not only improve corporate culture, but also offer an opportunity for engagement with the company and communication between work teams, if such activities are carried out directly by employees.
Transportation to the workplace.
Although there are now many companies that still have their workforces teleworking, up to 40%, according to the analysis prepared by Sesame Time, in many others the work is still face-to-face. The routine makes many employees move in their own vehicles, so that traffic jams produce up to 314.9 million tons CO2 of additional tons of greenhouse gases, data collected during 2019 in countries such as Spain, according to the Sustainability Observatory.
These behavior patterns had a great impact on the environment; for this reason, companies should work on promoting a culture of commuting to the workplace using sustainable vehicles such as bicycles, electric vehicles or public transport, as well as adapting parking spaces. All these actions will have a high impact on the sustainability of the company.