Why Invest in Your Employees for a Sustainable Business Culture?


When you think of a “business sustainability culture” what comes up for you? It the concept so broad in scope that it is hard to define? Or, on the contrary, is any one definition of it too narrow or limiting in its definition? This dual state represents a number of challenges when attempting to focus the business sustainability conversation. However, viewed from another perspective, our sustainability consulting practice redirects the conversation: What is the correlation between employee investment and a sustainable business culture?

The post, What Great Companies Know About Culture articulates the ROI of a strong workplace culture: increased productivity, improved recruitment and retention, and saved costs. While the post A Sustainability Business Culture Equals a Happy Business Culture suggest components of a sustainable business culture for the health of the organization.

The key is in creating a sustainable workplace environment. What form might these components take in the organization? Explored in our business sustainability programs are guidelines:

  • The company has a genuine commitment to sustainability by management at the highest level, with sustainability principles present in core values and business strategies.
  • Sustainability strategies cascade down through management and are incorporated into organizational and individual performance goals.
  • Employees are informed, motivated, and actively engaged in the company’s sustainability program.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for sustainability are fully integrated into the business processes, corporate performance, and employee recognition.
  • The company has active dialog with key stakeholders on sustainability issues, including customers to understand how sustainability issues relate to different market segments.
  • Defined strategies to ensure business sustainability initiatives add value both to the company and community and to the business.
  • Transparent reporting on sustainability concepts and sensitive issues, with both positive and negative results.

Investing in your employees is more than talent retention and increased productivity. By embracing sustainability’s core principals of inclusion, transparency, and engaged communication with stakeholders, a sustainable business culture is not only possible but encourages well being and satisfaction within multiple levels in the organization extending well beyond the physical boundaries of any organization.

Article by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Company; appearing courtesy 3BL Media.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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