30 July 2019
61% of employees consider corporate sustainability to be essential. 56% believe that overlooking environmental impact at work is as serious as ignoring diversity and inclusion. This is revealed by an HP study that highlights the importance of sustainable business practices and the added value that they offer in the selection, recruitment and retention of the best talent. The study indicates that employees are more motivated and engaged if an employer actively participates in promoting social responsibility. The research involved 20,000 participants worldwide. “This study highlights a concept that HP has been emphasizing for some time: for the employees of today and the future, social responsibility has become a must, which will only become more important,” stresses Tino Canegrati, CEO of HP Italy. If we consider companies’ everyday routine, the study also reveals a growing dichotomy between the recognized need for sustainable consumables and the false belief that any ink and toner cartridge can be recycled.”
43% of respondents think that companies that do not focus on adopting environmentally friendly practices do not deserve to stay on the market. This sentiment is even stronger in emerging economies, particularly in China, Mexico and India, countries in which more than half of respondents said that they were prepared to publicly criticize the company that they work for should they encounter non-compliance with sustainability practices. In Italy, the figure is 41%, while only 22% of Germans would be prepared to do this. It is a clear concept: those who want to attract new talent and to incentivize the workforce must invest in eco-friendly practices. The alternative is having disgruntled employees or – in the worst case scenario – losing some key figures who prefer to switch to the competition, not in exchange for a better contract, but on ethical grounds.
Why is sustainability so important for employees? Virtuous companies not only reduce plastic use in the company, but also implement sustainable policies for staff. For example, they have medical surgeries with free visits all year round, offering training courses and information on social issues. Many companies have employees of different nationalities and social inclusion policies, having found solutions for better management of ethnic and cultural diversity in the company. Others allows employees to have time to do volunteer work or have found smart welfare and smartworking solutions.
Management of ethnic, cultural and gender diversity, training, recruitment and selection, remuneration and welfare policies, and safety at work should be seen not only as a response to regulatory requirements or routine management activities, but also as actions with which to coherently embrace a focus on environmental and social sustainability, which, in the long run, will also have a positive impact on financial reputation and business.