Article: Enhancing ESG targets via employee benefits & engagement

Employee Engagement

Enhancing ESG targets via employee benefits & engagement

By strategically prioritising sustainability and actively engaging employees, companies can not only achieve their ESG goals but also enhance their corporate image and improve their bottom line.
Enhancing ESG targets via employee benefits & engagement

In the corporate world, sustainability is no longer just a buzzword; it's a clarion call for responsible business practices that resonate with employees, shareholders, and the global community. As we navigate the challenges of the 21st century, companies are increasingly recognising the importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) targets to ensure their long-term success and societal relevance.

The changing landscape of ESG

According to the 2022 Global Green Skills Report, there has been a remarkable 38.5% year-over-year growth in green knowledge and skills. This exponential increase in awareness of environmental sustainability is a clear indicator of a changing corporate landscape where ESG objectives are gaining paramount importance. The message is unequivocal - sustainability isn't an add-on but a core tenet of modern business. For companies looking to navigate the complexities of the post-pandemic world successfully, ESG targets have emerged as a North Star guiding their operations.

The role of employee engagement

To drive meaningful change in ESG, it's imperative to tap into the immense potential of employee engagement. Employees are the heart and soul of any organisation, and their buy-in is vital in realising sustainability goals. A Play Consulting Ltd. (PLAY) whitepaper revealed that 77% of employees and business leaders believe that significant behavioural changes are required to meet sustainability goals. This stark statistic underscores the recognition that achieving ESG targets isn't merely a top-down directive but a collective endeavour.

The power of employee benefits

One potent tool at the disposal of forward-thinking corporations is the ability to leverage employee benefits in the pursuit of ESG objectives. It's not just about offering standard health plans and retirement benefits; it's about crafting packages that align with a sustainable future.

Companies can consider benefits such as:

Green commuting support: Encourage employees to use eco-friendly modes of transportation, like public transit, carpooling, cycling, or electric vehicles. Offering incentives or subsidies for these options can substantially reduce a company's carbon footprint. With the employee commute and business travel being added to scope 3 emission a lot of focus can be given to this area. Mahindra Group has already made these transitions for some of its businesses.

Eco-conscious workspace: Create workspaces that minimise environmental impact. Implementing energy-efficient designs, reducing waste, and opting for sustainable materials can make a significant difference.

Employee & environmental wellness programs: Holistic well-being initiatives, including physical, and mental health support, employee action, environmental impact and finances especially incentives and bonuses linked to climate action can contribute to a happier, more productive workforce contributing to a better planet. 

Offer educational benefits: Provide resources for employees to learn about sustainability and ESG. Encourage employees to upskill and gain expertise in green practices.

Volunteer and giving programs: Empower employees to contribute to the community and environmental causes. Matching charitable donations and offering paid time for volunteering are excellent ways to promote social responsibility.

Also read: How companies are prioritising employee health for organisational success

Strategic priority, not a compliance task

It's time for organisations to understand that engaging employees in this mission isn't merely an altruistic endeavour; it's a strategic imperative. Fostering a workplace culture where sustainability is championed from the C-suite to the entry-level employee is an investment that pays off in the form of a positive corporate image, improved talent attraction and retention, and ultimately, a healthier bottom line.

In conclusion, as businesses stand at the intersection of a rapidly changing world and growing ESG expectations, it's crucial to harness the green momentum. Employee benefits and engagement are powerful tools to drive collective action, enhancing corporate sustainability while also benefiting the employees and the global community. By empowering employees to be torchbearers of change, companies can navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape and emerge as responsible, successful, and sustainable entities.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Benefits & Rewards, #Work Culture

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