Two-thirds of UK workers polled in a recent survey said they were more likely to work for a company with strong environmental policies. With another poll finding three-quarters of aduIts worry about change, it’s clear sustainability will make your SMEs more attractive to current and potential employees.
But how can you tell the story of what you’re doing in a way that helps recruit and retain staff?
There are plenty of great, straightforward actions that reduce emissions – and every one is worth celebrating. But big changes to the way you do business, such as greening your product design, buildings and supply chain, really show your commitment.
The more you show you’re thinking creatively about sustainability, going beyond what your competitors are doing, the more you will stand out to job applicants.
Document your business’s top three green achievements, and use a carbon tracker to measure their impact.
Inspire staff (and attract new ones) by celebrating individuals’ carbon-cutting achievements, and showing the impact every team member can have. Many people are keen to take steps like recycling and reducing plastic use at home – but might not know their decisions at work can have a much greater impact.
That’s a message promoted by Shelley Lawson, Director of Frog Bikes, where the company’s green commitments have helped recruit staff. She says: “our aluminium buyer can save 1,000s of tonnes of emissions a year from the choices she makes.”
When you’re writing a job advert, outline how the role can help to reduce emissions – such as through greener purchasing or influencing colleagues.
External validation shows you’re taking sustainability seriously. A host of business awards feature a sustainability category, or are entirely focused on the issue. Look out for regional awards, or those covering your sector. Many are as much about innovation and effort as delivering huge carbon savings.
Accreditation schemes will also prove your status as a green employer – these range in cost, but you can also make a pledge for free through the Government’s SME Climate Hub, which also offers support and advice.
Finally, joining a green business network in your area will show your commitment to sustainability, and connect you with information and support that helps reduce emissions.
Validate your efforts through awards, networks or accreditation – and share the news on your website or social media channels.
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