New Zealand employers going sustainable to attract talent

Jobseekers 'wanting to work for purpose-driven companies'

New Zealand employers going sustainable to attract talent

Employers across New Zealand are going sustainable in a bid to attract more talent, according to a new report, as jobseekers are beginning to expect more from organisations when it comes climate action.

A new survey from the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), which polled senior executives from almost 30 organisations, found that talent recruitment is motivating the sustainability actions of a small number of employers.

Tori Calver, SBN’s Head of Advisory and Impact, said some businesses see sustainability as a “competitive advantage.”

“Others have noticed an increase in jobseekers wanting to work for purpose-driven companies,” Calver said in a statement.

According to the report, these employers are seeking to attract younger talent, who are more likely to join organisations that are aligned with their values.

Meanwhile, some leaders said they are taking the sustainable route because “it’s the right thing to do.” Others said the move is critical for “long-term commercial success.”

Growing pressure on employers

The findings come as pressures mount on organisations to become more sustainable.

Previous findings from Frog Recruitment revealed that almost half of employers are “not doing enough in the sustainability stakes,” with 19% of employees saying their employers could do more when it comes to the issue.

A recent survey from Westpac also revealed that 63% of Kiwis are either very or quite concerned about the impacts of climate change in New Zealand, following the weather events that hit the country this year.

These concerns might be reaching top-level leaders, as SBN’s findings revealed that “increasing customer expectations and market access requirements” are pushing companies to be more sustainable.

“Organisations exporting to Europe are seeing strong pressure to prioritise action in emissions reduction,” Calver said. “Plus, new regulations like the Climate-related Disclosures, which makes it mandatory for big companies to report on climate risk, are having an impact.”

Sustainability challenges

Shannon Barlow, managing director at Frog Recruitment, previously told HRD that employers can be sustainable by installing meaningful waste management programmes and promoting eco-friendly commuting options for employees.

“On a bigger scale, investing in green building design, utilising renewable energy sources, and establishing green purchasing policies also showcase a dedication to environmental responsibility,” Barlow said.

But employers said they need more intervention from the government, according to the SBN report.

“That includes clearer and more consistent regulations to help long-term planning; greater standardisation of regulations between New Zealand and the global market, particularly around climate and nature reporting; and financial support and incentives for sustainability initiatives, such as transitioning to renewable energy or electrifying vehicle fleets,” Calver said.

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