A company’s human resources function must be at the heart of any attempt to embed sustainability into a company’s way of doing business. Here’s how it can work

In recent years, organisations of all kinds have been seeking ways to embed sustainability into their daily operations. This entails integrating the values, attitudes, assumptions and issues related to sustainability – call it the “sustainability mindset” – directly into the thinking, strategy, planning and operations of every department and business unit.

An organisation that sees sustainability as a separate activity – as an add-on to normal business operations rather than as connected to the “real work” of the company – is unlikely to make significant progress. In contrast, if employees believe that sustainability supports traditional core business goals, the journey becomes that much easier.

If sustainability is not embedded, employees who may be predisposed to dismiss sustainability as “the initiative of the week”, “tinkering around the edges”, or mere public relations will find it even easier to do so – certainly easier than fundamentally rethinking their operating methods and jobs. By contrast, if sustainability is embedded, it becomes part of the company’s DNA, as central to success as other basic goals.

For this reason, embedding sustainability is understood to be a basic goal for most companies that take the new demands of the age of sustainability seriously. Yet many companies find it...

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Employee engagmeent  human resources  Sustainable Strategy 

Webinar: Creating a sustainability innovation culture in your organisation

February 2014,

Employees can be the greatest source of sustainable innovation within any company. Facilitating and acting upon employee insight and feedback can help your company foster an innovative sustainable culture. Join Alcatel-Lucent, Royal Bank of Scotland in our free live debate.

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