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How sustainable employees save and make you money.

Submitted by on February 16, 2013 – 10:15 pmNo Comment

How sustainable employees save and make you money.

Sustainability is a business credential that you are likely to be increasingly quizzed about in competitive sales tenders, particularly for Corporate or public sector work.

But sustainability it is not merely about ‘just changing the light-bulbs’, it covers aspects of environment, social and economic performance. Changing employee mindsets and behaviour is central to being a sustainable business and frequently delivers cost reductions equivalent to around 20% of energy costs, as well as new revenue opportunities. Employees are often more sustainable than their managers, but lack the direction and framework to make a difference. So how can you harness the power of your teams to benefit your business?

Here are our tips to help you succeed in changing employees ‘hearts and minds’

  • Explain ‘What’s in it for them’ – As well as fostering job security, employees who act sustainably can improve their workplace satisfaction and even save on their own costs
  • Empower your staff – set up a ‘sustainability working group’ and let your staff represent it as ‘green champions’
  • Be open to new ideas – you’ll be surprised how many sustainable ideas from colleagues’ own homes can be brought into the workplace
  • Review your own policies - are there issues, such as travel policies favouring car usage, that are discouraging/contradicting sustainable choices
  • Communicate – share a regular dashboard of the Organisation’s carbon and sustainability achievements, e.g. on your intranet, noticeboards and newsletters
  • Reward - recognise team contributions; it can cost very little money and timely recognition is king!
  • Train your teams - there are some excellent and cost effective Elearning courses – covering Sustainability, Carbon management etc in engaging ‘bite size’ modules
  • Improve behaviours – take away under-desk bins as these can encourage waste production; use a communal bin instead
  • Volunteer days – allow your employees a day a year to work on a charitable and/or environmental projects to motivate and help staff retention  

Walk the Talk - it’s imperative that you lead by example