Why your HR department should go Green in 2021: A Sustainability Outlook

The negative impacts of industrialization and globalisation on the environment have long been proven, whether it be carbon emissions, greenhouse gasses or pollution. There has never been a better time for businesses to increase their efforts in going green. Going green means caring for the environment by making a deliberate effort to be part of a positive change to the environment. For businesses as a whole, going green is all about sustainability and can encompass anything from promoting the use of double sided photocopying to encouraging staff to use more environmentally friendly means of getting to work. In Human resources, going green can be more narrowly dedicated to promoting a positive working environment and focusing on social outcomes. ‘Green’ HR policies should be environment-friendly and promote the sustainable use of resources.  There are many reasons that every HR department should focus on going green, and in this article we’ll highlight a selected few.

Better the environment and lower your costs

One reason HR teams should focus on becoming more ethical is the financial gains this can have. Tasks such as switching to solar panels, ensuring electrical appliances are switched off, and encouraging walk/cycle to work initiatives can greatly minimise a businesses carbon footprint - and also cut energy bills by 50%. A report from 2012 found that hospitals that reduce energy consumption could save $15 billion over a decade.

The overall efficiency of a business can and should be bettered by green incentives. Reducing waste is another way in which going green can minimise operating costs for a business. Such initiatives include double sided printing, which means less spending on paper. Refilling ink cartridges instead of disposing of them can also be very advantageous, especially for medium - large sized corporations.

Attract and retain talent

Having ethical /environmentally friendly policies can attract top quality employees to your business. With the growing popularity of green initiatives, it is reasonable to assume top employees will be interested in working for a business that is keeping up with ethical and environmental concerns. More than 80% of people respect companies and brands that adopt green initiatives, caring for internal and external environments therefore is good for brand image and recruitment standards.

Similarly, employees who already work at a business work better in eco-friendly environments, and are more engaged with the culture of an ethical business in comparison to businesses with little to no ethical considerations. Instilling ethical ‘green’ practices into a workforce consequently leads to the practices becoming part of the businesses culture as a whole. Better engagement in a business culture is synonymous with increased employee retention.

Final thoughts

With worrying facts and statistics such as the ocean having more plastic than fish by 2050, it is safe to assume no employee wants to work for a business that ignores their environmental impact and behaves unethically. When a HR department implements ethical considerations, the business changes from the ground up as shown by Ikea’s People and Planet Positive Initiative. To successfully go green, energy must be put into ensuring you’re not green washing but are actually taking steps to become more sustainable. As one of Europe's leading recruiters within the green sectors, we have helped some of the world's largest organisations implement green recruitment practises throughout their organisations. 

We have a multi-award winning team of recruitment specialists who are passionate about making the world a better place. We have proven to be a catalyst and the driving force behind many of our clients. If you are a company seeking to recruit, or a candidate in search of a new role; please contact Irfan Lohiya on:

T: +44 121 285 6070
M: +44 7580 170 406
E: ilohiya@greenrs.co.uk
W: greenrs.co.uk