However, what counts is authenticity and real actions, not the declarations themselves.
Although changing habits in everyday life does not require significant preparation, remodeling of production and logistics processes, the introduction of a policy defining the principles of cooperation with suppliers and adjusting the business model to sustainable development assumptions is a complicated project - especially for international corporations.
Many companies have already introduced solutions that have earned them the reputation of sustainable businesses that are sensitive to environmental and ethical issues. This positive trend is primarily focused on stopping climate change. However, more and more is being said about the business benefits of such an undertaking. The pro-ecological approach is the opportunity to reduce the company's operating costs - expenses related to the purchase of energy, office equipment, and waste disposal.
Energy-efficient, sustainable and well-designed buildings also bring many other benefits. According to the Cornell University study, cited in Hays Journal 18, replacing artificial lighting with natural daylight causes a fall of 84% in the incidence among employees of such conditions as eye pain and redness, headache or blurred vision.
"Market research and observations prove that work spaces using natural elements, e.g. daylight and vegetation, positively affect the well-being of employees. We spend a huge part of the day at work, so the space we are in should offer comfort and ease our duties. An office that uses natural resources in a sustainable way affects the well-being of employees, and thus their productivity, which is also an undeniable benefit for the employer."
Agnieszka Pietrasik, Executive Manager, Hays Poland
Cost savings, increased efficiency and employee satisfaction with the workplace are not the only business argument in favor of conducting a more responsible business. Business ethics and respect for the environment are increasingly becoming an important argument shaping consumer decisions. Buyers are increasingly convinced that companies should engage in environmental initiatives and take responsibility for any negative effects of their business. Organizations associated with environmental pollution or unsustainable use of natural resources are today more likely to lose customers than ever before.
RECRUITMENT WITH ECOLOGY IN THE BACKGROUND
The representatives of the youngest generations are particularly sensitive to this issue. According to a Deloitte study, climate change is one of Millennials' main concerns, and as many as 42% of respondents started or deepened their relationship with a given brand due to the belief that the company's products or services have a positive impact on the environment and society. This attitude is also manifested in professional decisions made by candidates. More and more often, young employees expect more than an attractive salary from the workplace.
"Representatives of the youngest generation more often than others value the purpose and sense of their work more than the position, money and other material benefits resulting from cooperation with a given organization. Millennials want to identify with the organizational culture and company values. If this is achieved, then greater commitment and loyalty to the employer are common results. In the face of challenges related to recruitment and increased rotation, this is a huge value for companies."
AUTHENTICITY ABOVE ALL
For a responsible business policy to have a positive impact on employee recruitment and retention, it must be reflected in the actual activities of the organization. Companies declaring their commitment to preventing climate change cannot prosecute the so-called greenwashing, that is, creating a false belief that they operate in accordance with the principles of ecology. Thus, organizations that consciously exaggerate their commitment to sustainable business not only lose the trust of potential consumers but also candidates.
Authenticity is also important for another reason - employees are able to do more for a company they believe in and with which they identify. Employees convinced of the authenticity of declarations made by the employer are more likely to participate in the company's CSR activities and internal initiatives related to reducing waste production or saving energy at the workplace, as well as taking the role of a brand ambassador and organization as an honest employer.
Agnieszka Pietrasik from Hays Poland summarizes:
"If we successfully involve employees in ecological projects, as a result we can expect an increase in the total activity of the company in this area. Employees independently come out with initiatives, proposing participation in volunteering and original educational projects that are designed to promote appropriate attitudes among colleagues. However, this will not be possible without the support of the management who should give climate issues the right priority."
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