Engage your crowd – why sustainability is good for business and employees
How to attract talent by implementing sustainability in your business!
Emilia Molin, Managing Director at BE WTR, is an advocate for sustainability and knows how to adopt this and integrate it into your business.
”Who do you think you are, Greta?” My very likeable lunch date raises an eyebrow.
I have just shared my two cents on the future of business. Companies need to do not only good business but also good for the planet. I wish I had invented it myself, but many people, a lot smarter than I, say the same thing.
(And for the record, I do think it is positive to be inspired by Greta).
Taking a stand is becoming more and more important, not only to stop climate change, but also to attract consumers, fans, and followers. A global study shows that consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from and trust companies with a strong Purpose. But according to Unilever, every company also needs to look at its impacts up and down the value chain. If it pays off? Yes! In their report Making Purpose Pay it is shown that sustainable living brands grow 50% faster than the rest of the business.
To be clear: companies that do not adjust their business model to lessen their environmental footprint will be left behind. And they will also have a hard time attracting talent. A small example: impact-driven startups in Sweden gets 25% more applications per open position than startups that are not value driven.
People want to work for companies that are engaged. Sustainability is an important piece of the puzzle in creating employee satisfaction and retention.
Where does one start? As always - with one small step. Here are four easy tips on how you can start making your business more up to speed with the greener need:
- Do your research, choose your focus
In the UN 2030 Agenda, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were defined. They work as a global business plan for governments, organizations, and companies. Use them as a guiding light in your quest to let your products or services become greener. Set goals and make a clear plan!
- Start internally – stop using single-use plastics in the office, switch to green electricity, print less, make sure to “reduce, reuse and recycle”, have digital meetings instead of flying to physical ones, and go electric when it is time for new cars. All small things with a big impact. Also: promote a healthier lifestyle. Maybe employees that take the company bike instead of the car get extra time off? Or, as in our company; everyone can use one working hour per week for physical exercise.
- Pick a cause together
We are part of 1% for The Planet and are in the process of becoming B-corp certified. In BE WTR we work with water-related projects in every market and on the coffee side, we have created Heart of Home, for female coffee farmers in Colombia. We support our projects financially, hands-on and wholeheartedly. Making sure that we visit and participate in the causes that are dear to us. It makes it tangible and creates employee engagement. What is your company’s project?
- Engage and communicate
Communicate what you do in a transparent, honest, and engaging way. It will build trust with your employees, clients, and other stakeholders. It will also attract the talent you are after. Many times, you hear that companies don’t want to “brag” about what they do. But why not? Be proud of what you stand for.
Others will surely follow your example. Bottom line, we all need to.