How organisations can empower employees to drive ESG success
While employees play a pivotal role in driving the success of any environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programme, effectively engaging them while managing organisational priorities can be a challenge, said Yogesh Chauhan, Director of ESG at HubSpot.
In a commentary published on Sustainable Brands, Chauhan referenced an IBM study that revealed 80% of employees want to contribute to their organisation’s climate or ESG goals. This highlights the potential for employee passion and engagement, he said, and organisations must carefully manage this responsibility, considering the impact of ESG on recruitment and retention.
He suggested starting by equipping employees with knowledge and tools to contribute to sustainability goals. For instance, HubSpot integrates ESG into its culture through quarterly campaigns focused on specific topics. These campaigns educate employees and promote sustainable behaviours, such as reducing carbon footprints.
Transparency is another key aspect of engaging employees. By openly sharing updates on ESG efforts, successes, challenges, and areas for improvement, trust is built. Chauhan emphasised the importance of active conversations with employees to understand their perspectives and address concerns.
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ESG should not be confined to a single team or department, he added. While an ESG team may exist, it should collaborate with other teams like facilities, legal, finance, and culture to embed sustainability across the organisation. This ensures that sustainable behaviour and decision-making are encouraged at all levels.
Chauhan defines success as when employees actively contribute to ESG goals in their daily work. Whether it involves engineers developing code for more efficient products or the marketing team opting for sustainable technology, these actions demonstrate a successful connection between ESG goals, employee passion, and broader impact, he concluded.