Employees actively engaging in sustainable initiatives are more likely to drive positive change and help the organisation achieve its sustainability goals.
Employees find fulfilment in actively participating in sustainability efforts, leading to greater overall job satisfaction and a stronger connection to their workplace. Deloitte’s 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey reports that 50% of younger generations are urging their employers to lead in driving change on environmental problems.
Younger generations of workers are increasingly drawn to employers with firm sustainability commitments. Motivating employees in this area can make attracting and retaining top talent easier. Deloitte’s 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey tells us that 42% of employees have changed or plan to change jobs because of climate concerns.
Integrating sustainability into the company culture
By educating, inspiring, and activating employees, you can integrate sustainability into the company culture. Let’s look at 7 effective sustainability initiatives that engage employees, leading to a reduction in emissions while also collecting data for sustainability reporting.
1. Organise green workspace competitions
Start by creating a platform for employees to submit their ‘green’ ideas - a sustainable innovation suggestion box. Encourage employees to present their views on creating a more sustainable office. These ideas range from indoor plants to promote well-being in the office to using energy-efficient lighting. Then, recognise and reward the most innovative and impactful suggestions and actively implement the winning ideas in the workplace. Rewards could be bonuses, extra vacation days, or eco-friendly prizes.
2. Set up sustainability commute challenges
Create a friendly competition among employees to use sustainable transportation options like biking, walking, carpooling, or public transport, and track their carbon footprint reductions. Reward the most sustainable commuters with incentives like extra vacation days or eco-friendly prizes.
3. Coordinate sustainable hackathons
A sustainable hackathon allows employees to collaborate on innovative solutions to reduce the organisation’s carbon emissions. Sustainable hackathons encourage employees to think outside the box and develop creative solutions to complex challenges. Recognise, reward and implement winning ideas.
4. Develop a green certification program
Develop a sustainability certification for employees. Those who complete a series of sustainable behaviour training modules and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability receive a Green Certification, which can be added to their professional profiles. Sustainability certification programmes motivate employees to embrace sustainability and promote a culture of responsible environmental and social practices within the organisation.
5. Establish sustainable meal plans
Eco-friendly meal plans encourage employees to make mindful choices about their food consumption, fostering a culture of conscious consumption. Ensure employees can opt for more sustainable meals, with less meat, for example, while partnering with local organic and sustainable food suppliers and encouraging minimal food waste. Subsidise or offer discounts to those who choose these meal options, reducing the organisation’s overall carbon footprint. Your organisation can report on emission reductions by tracking the number of discounts or subsidies given to employees.
6. Empower a volunteer sustainability corps
A volunteer sustainability corps is a dedicated group of employees who are enthusiastic about sustainability and voluntarily commit their time and efforts to advance sustainable initiatives. This team can help plan and implement initiatives, as well as act as an advocate for sustainability within the organisation.
7. Set up employee sustainability grants
Employees can apply for financial support to fund innovative, sustainable projects or ideas. Projects might include:
Grants will drive employees to think critically about their impact on the environment and take proactive steps towards sustainability. Aiding employees with their ideas demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to sustainability, which can boost employee morale. Employees who can fund their sustainability projects help reduce the organisation’s emissions.
Scone is your organisation’s data-driven platform to create employee engagement and report sustainability success. We can help you organise sustainability challenges and provide in-depth emissions reduction reports for CSRD.