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.

What is HR’s role in a sustainability 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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