The Sustainability Pulse: February’s round-up of Sustainability Employee Engagement 

This month is about how companies can bridge the gap between sustainability strategies and employee action. From a great webinar series from the UNGC to research from PwC and our own in-house research, here are some of the month’s highlights.

How to engage employees on sustainability at work 

We recently undertook a research project to find out what companies are doing to bridge the gap between sustainability strategies and employee action and the current best practices used by market leaders to close the gap. 

We conducted in-depth interviews with sustainability specialists from large companies across sectors. We combined the detailed information from these interviews with survey data on staff attitudes, an analysis of 30 global company sustainability reports, and a review of over 250 best practice examples from companies and leading global initiatives to reveal three priorities that Chief Sustainability Officers should be working on to engage their employees:  

How to engage employees on sustainability at work
  • Relevance is crucial. Sustainability at work needs to be real.  
  • If companies are targeting Scope 3, they’ve got to take their employees with them. Not only can employees make a difference but companies also know they cannot hit Scope 3 targets without them.  
  • Companies need strong commitments if they want their employees to get behind them. 73% want to work for a firm with a strong environmental commitment.

You can follow up on this research with our guide on how to align your employees with your sustainability goals here. It’s full of practical steps starting today to support your sustainability strategy.  

Collecting Scope 3 Data: Employee Engagement  

Over 50% of sustainability professionals don’t feel their colleagues are really engaged with their sustainability goals – this was the results of a live poll in a recent webinar on Employee Engagement by the UN Global Compact Network (UNGC). 

For many businesses, measuring, reducing, and reporting on the organisation’s Scope 3 emissions is the most challenging aspect of achieving a science-based net zero target. 

The UNGC hosted a four-part webinar series to support businesses to efficiently collect Scope 3 emissions data from across their value chain. Giki co-founder, James Hand, joined a panel of employee sustainability engagement experts to share our experiences in positively engaging with employees to reduce emissions from business travel, employee commuting, and more.  

The series was excellent and highlighted the importance of employees in the data collection process, particularly for business travel, employee commuting, and homeworking. Companies discussed the tools they use to gather and track this information and employee engagement in these areas.  

You can watch it on-demand here. 

If you’re inspired then we’ve published a new guide to help align your teams with your sustainability goals.

𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗥𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗘𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗼𝘆𝗲𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗙𝗶𝗿𝗺𝘀’ 𝗦𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗘𝗳𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘀  

Recent research conducted by PwC sheds light on the critical role that employees play in driving sustainability within financial services organisations. Two key findings caught our eye: 

  1. U𝗽𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗰𝗲: Nearly half of the firms (46%) are actively prioritising upskilling their existing workforce. This strategic move ensures that employees are equipped to tackle current and future climate-related challenges. 
  2. 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗝𝗼𝗯𝘀 𝗦𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲: PwC’s Green Jobs Barometer, revealed a remarkable surge in job vacancies within the green jobs sector since 2020. This surge underscores the critical importance of sustainability skills development in achieving net-zero targets. 

Just as proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel became essential skills on CVs, sustainability expertise is becoming a crucial skill set for more employees. Chief Sustainability Officers, sustainable procurement specialists, and green product innovators are increasing, and career development opportunities too are being bolstered by sustainability expertise. 

It’s a great source of optimism that green skills and planet-first leadership are increasing in the workplace.  

If you’d like more updates like this then sign up for our newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn. If you’d like to talk about any of the issues in this update or how you can engage your employees in sustainability, get in touch.