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Why HR teams are core to an environmentally sustainable business approach

Source | | David Wilkinson

Organisations around the world are taking an increasing interest in reducing their environmental impact and developing an environmentally sustainable business approach. The most cynical amongst us say this increased interest in corporate environmental sustainability has developed for two reasons: good public relations and the fact that reducing energy use is cheaper in the long term. Ultimately however, humanity needs to reduce its impact on the planet before business becomes an irrelevance.

Once an organisation has an environmental policy, it needs to have action taken at every level so that everyone working for the organisation complies with the policies and ultimately so the organisation isn’t just paying lip-service to the very real issues of climate change. For the sake of the planet, the organisation needs to practice what it preaches and for this to happen there needs to direct involvement from Human Resources.

The research

A paper to be published in the journal Human Resource Management by researchers from Australia and China shows how Human Resources teams have a significant impact on the way that such policies are carried out and help their organisation develop an environmentally sustainable business approach. It was found that there are four areas HR are core to in making corporate environmental sustainability work. What the researchers found was that ‘Green HRM’ practices and behaviours:

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