What is HR’s role in a sustainability strategy?

Two experts weigh in on how HR can assist sustainability planners when it comes to creating an organisational strategy.

As more and more organisations implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, many HR professionals may be left questioning just how possible it is to embed and operationalise a sustainability strategy into their organisational culture.

According to Jacquie Fegent McGeachie, director of public affairs, communications and sustainability at Kimberly Clark Australia and New Zealand, it is very possible – here, she provides her tips.

Where to start?

“A good starting point is for sustainability and HR practitioners to form a closer relationship, as a stronger relationship can reap plenty of mutual benefit,” Fegent McGeachie suggested.

“HR professionals can assist in providing formalised structures to help operationalise sustainability within an organisation – such as providing staff with training and development; incorporating sustainability into the onboarding process for new employees; offering incentives and recognition for sustainability achievements; and having policies that promote worker cooperation and involvement with the company’s environmental objectives.”

What next?

Fegent McGeachie shared four tips on integrating sustainable practices into the workplace culture:

1. Secure showcase support from the top of the organisation

2. Identify and recruit organisational sustainability champions at a range of levels

3. Champions need to be effective business partners and clear communicators

4. Apply a tried and tested model for driving organisational change in order to integrate and operationalise sustainability

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