Employees want to know what their employer is doing to fight climate change

22 04 2023

Photo: Artem Podrez from Pexels

By Paola Peralta from Benefitnews.com • Reposted: April 22, 2023

For employees, “going green” has evolved beyond a corporate buzzword. Sustainable business practices are now a must for discerning workers. 

A recent study from Oxford Economics reported that 65% of companies have created a clear mission statement around sustainability, and an additional 23% are in the process of developing such a mission, meaning that the vast majority of businesses are prioritizing sustainability and building pathways to reduce company-generated emissions and environmental impact.  

“For sustainability to be successful, it has to be embedded into the core business units themselves,” Adam Braun, CEO sustainability startup Climate Club, recently told EBN. “It needs to be done in a way that helps every single person across a large enterprise understand what their unique goals are, how they can contribute towards those goals, and then how they’re attracting clear performance benchmarks both internally and externally.”

From a sustainability report card to help employees understand the potential impact of their retirement investments to startups that focus on ensuring that businesses are creating more sustainable investment opportunities, it’s in employers’ best interest to meet their workforce’s demands. 

Catch up on EBN’s recent coverage of sustainability in the workforce as well as the growing prominence of ESG retirement contributions — and what it will all mean for the future.

Where ESG meets recruiting: 65% of employees want to work for a sustainable company 

Eighty-three percent of workers think their employer is not doing enough to be more sustainable and tackle climate change, and 65% would be more likely to work for a company with robust environmental policies, according to a 2021 report from intranet company Unily. 

“Whereas sustainability and climate change used to be more siloed within companies, now it’s really integrated throughout the company,” says William Theisen, CEO in North America at EcoAct, a climate consultancy that provides a wide range of sustainable solutions to businesses. There’s no part of the company that’s not going to be affected by setting science-based targets or net zero targets.”

 Climate Club’s software platform is helping companies and employees meet ESG goals 

How to show employees you’re making steps toward sustainability? Startup Climate Club partners with companies to create a dashboard that employees can interact with, tracking their own carbon emission levels (as well as their employer’s) and providing resources to help meet sustainability goals.

“[When we started], the big question was: what can we do as individuals to contribute towards reversing climate change?” says CEO Braun. “We started to really observe that, not only were individuals asking this question, but companies were also stepping up to contribute toward goals across the sustainability and climate spectrum.”

Why ESG retirement plans could get employees to save more for the future 

Eighty-seven percent of retirement plan participants want their investments to be aligned with their values, according to Schroder’s 2022 Retirement Survey. That’s leading the majority of employees (74%) to seek out investment options that follow environmental, social and governance goals. Those employees would also contribute more if offered an ESG option. 

“There is a lot of education necessary with adding ESG options, when they’re implemented and ongoing,” she says. “Another factor is a final Department of Labor regulation ruling, and that is the main reason why plan sponsors are getting ready and thinking about adding this option.” 

Microsoft, Campbell’s shareholders rejected resolutions to make 401(k)s sustainable. What it means for ESG goals 

As You Sow, a California-based nonprofit that advocates for corporate sustainability, last year submitted official shareholder resolutions to both Campbell’s and Microsoft, asking them to prepare a report assessing how the companies’ retirement funds and investments may be contributing to climate change. The request was made after investors reached out to engage As You Sow.

“We think that there’s a fiduciary duty to consider climate change in employees’ [investments],” says Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow. “The question that we raise with Campbell’s is, why does a company that believes in climate risk have a significant amount of its employee retirement funds invested in target date funds that have high levels of fossil fuels and high-carbon companies?”

To see the original post, follow this link: https://www.benefitnews.com/list/4-ways-to-embrace-sustainability-at-work




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