Employee engagement is a hot topic right now, but it’s small in comparison to green initiatives. Organizations that integrate their programs to address these two all-important fields may have results that can surprise everyone. When the preservation of the environment connects with employees on a personal level, magic happens. This integrated approach can work on both a large scale — many banks and large financial services institutions have planted trees and conducted community clean ups as part of a team effort — and it works well with smaller businesses too.
Sustainable Kingston, an organization with a goal of encouraging businesses to make sustainable choices, has noticed a shift in how companies approach green initiatives. Following an informal survey of local organizations, this community-driven, non-profit based in Kingston had many cases in which the responsibility for green initiatives, due to its alignment with employee engagement initiatives, had shifted to HR. Programs focused on health and wellness include everything from sourcing local produce in a fruits and veggies challenge to offering commuter incentives for people who bicycle to work. Employee-driven efforts to reduce waste led to savings on paper, toner and electricity, and reduced environmental impact.