Involve employees in your company’s suitability journey – ESG expert

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A number of businesses in South Africa are struggling to deal with the repercussions of the energy crisis and the effects of climate change in the country, with many of them losing millions of rand a day.

As such, entrepreneurs are now forced to look at innovative ways to achieve sustainability.

According to Kyle Durham, Head of Sustainable Finance and ESG Solutions at FNB, it is imperative that these entrepreneurs also involve their employees in sustainability practices, as this is not only moral but also makes sound business sense.

“For starters, such inclusion in sustainability practices can deliver long-term cost savings for the business through more efficient energy consumption and waste management practices.

“Sustainability is also a direct bottom line consideration, given that many customers are prepared to pay a premium for products and services that are sustainable, or come from a company known for its sustainable development commitments,” he said.

Positive impacts
Durham also noted that apart from the monetary benefits, studies have revealed that giving employees chances to contribute to a sustainable world can boost their engagement and lead to positive impacts on their motivation, productivity, and retention rates.

“Becoming known as an employer that gives its people opportunities to contribute to a better word is also a great way to enhance your appeal as an employer of choice.

“This is extremely important given the global battle for talent and the difficulties many small and medium enterprises experience in terms of attracting the best people because they simply can’t offer the same benefits as their larger counterparts.

“Many employees today are prepared to accept fewer financial benefits in exchange for the opportunity to derive real meaning and purpose from the work they do,” he said.

Durham added that the most compelling reason of all is that doing so allows a business to increase the amount of good it is doing for the planet and its people.

“Many large businesses invest millions into supporting the sustainability efforts of other organisations, which is both noble and necessary. However, if they are overlooking the massive sustainability resource they have under their own roof – their staff – they are missing an opportunity to enhance their contribution to protecting and improving the world,” he concluded.

The Citizen