HOW TO GET YOUR EMPLOYEES ENGAGED WITH SUSTAINABILITY


4 July '23

4 minute read

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You can say what you like about your company culture, but it’s all smoke and mirrors unless your people live and breathe it. That’s why you have to make sure everyone is on board and engaging with your internal and external initiatives.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. People are busy, there’s a lot of noise in internal communications and you don’t want to add an additional mental load onto your employees. So, how do you get people to willingly join in? That’s the question we’ve been trying to answer here at Cooper Parry since we created our new in-house sustainability team.

Having recently become B Corp Certified, it’s clear that as a company, we care about people and the environment. But it’s important to us to ensure this is deep-rooted and a fundamental part of our culture, so every CPer knows how to be sustainable and do their part to help us collectively reach our target of Net Zero by 2030.

HOW WE ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WITH SUSTAINABILITY

Every new member of CP has some initial training when they begin, covering useful topics such as Diversity & Inclusion, Marketing and Wellbeing. Sustainability is just as important as these topics, so we’ve started including this for all new starters. That way, from the first day, they know sustainability is a key focus here.

Maintaining a regular schedule of internal communication helps to keep employees updated and engaged with what’s happening in the workplace. At CP, we’ve been doing a monthly Microsoft Teams post, each on a different theme of sustainability. It helps educate in bitesize pieces and keep the concept in the forefront of people’s mind – even if it’s subconsciously!

Our recent relaunch of CP Houses (think Hogwarts-style competitions) has been a great opportunity to add in more sustainability-themed challenges to raise awareness in a fun way. The goal is incorporating the ideas into everything we do so sustainability becomes business as usual.

EXAMPLES FROM OTHER B CORPS

Lots of other companies are on the same journey to become more sustainable and educate their people. We looked at what other companies were doing to get their employees on board:

  • A fellow B Corp described how they host a lunch and learn and often invite guest speakers from other B Corps to show how far companies have come since becoming certified. It’s a great way for employees to learn more about what it means to be a B Corp.
  • Another company got their employees to make sustainability pledges. That way, it was something that can be more personal and gives them something specific to focus on in everyday life, both at work and at home.
    B Lab, the organisation that certified us as a B Corporation, suggest hosting a B party every year – who doesn’t like another reason for some cake?
  • Another suggestion is to make a sustainability committee, made up of volunteers from different teams so that actions and initiatives reflect a wider range of voices, and an exciting mix of ideas.

LESSONS LEARNT

Sometimes, sustainability can be a sea of jargon and acronyms. When we’re trying to engage people, especially those who may be new to the concept, the last thing we want to do is scare them off with information that isn’t accessible.

Recognising that people can have varying levels of understanding and learning to meet people where they are in their sustainability journey is key to engaging employees.

At CP, we’re constantly learning and looking to implement lots of new ways to help our employees get involved. We’ll be taking the advice from fellow B Corps and finding what works for us to help make every person at CP a sustainability champion. Keep ‘em peeled for more changes and exciting announcements coming soon.

Fancy joining us on our sustainability journey and swapping some ideas? Let’s grab a coffee together.