As co-host of the COP26 summit, the UK has ambitiously pledged to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035. Companies have an opportunity to empower colleagues to bring environmental strategies to life, and drive meaningful change.
Gudrun Cartwright, climate action director at Business in the Community (BITC), warned: “People, particularly young workers, really care about the steps that their employers are taking to tackle the climate crisis and their frustration will only get stronger as the need for action intensifies.”
With data from Reuters finding 83% of workers state their workplaces aren’t doing enough to address climate change, it’s clear that more action is necessary to begin addressing the issue. The stance on environmental issues is likely to affect recruitment and employee engagement, and it’s likely, this type of activity will be increasingly important for employer image as sustainability reporting becomes more commonplace. Even slight changes to company policy could impact the organisation’s carbon footprint and with this in mind, the CIPD has shared some tips to help businesses make a difference:
- Introducing flexible working/travel to save emissions from commuting.
- Adapting values and culture to consider climate change,
- Reference commitment to climate change in job adverts,
Discussing the issues with staff is key, but it’s important to consider the knock on effect this could have on wellbeing. The state of the world can be a frightening topic for some, so avoiding scare tactics, and sharing relevant information and practical tips will help to keep morale high. Be ready to signpost staff to get support if they are feeling challenged emotionally, such as employee assistance programmes.
Don’t let perfect get in the way of better
Perfection can be the enemy of getting stuff done. Incremental improvements are needed right now, and starting with small steps like tackling food waste, single use plastics, working from home to avoid lengthy commutes, and reminding people to switch lights, computers or heating off are great ways to get started. Don’t hold off on change just because you haven’t got the perfect solution – small steps are better than no steps. A few small but deliberate changes will help employees see your organisation cares, understand what they can do, and feel excited about the opportunities. Talk to advo today if we can help with any of the issues in this article.