As concern for the impact of business on the environment grows, workers are placing more importance on their employer's sustainability and seeking ways to have a personal environmental impact. Successful sustainability programs harness the energy of employees to strengthen the organization's environmental performance - improving efficiency, enhancing product offerings, reducing costs, and increasing the attractiveness of the company to potential employees.
Sustainability is increasingly recognized as a core business competency. According to Harvard Business Review, "sustainability is the mother lode of organizational and technical innovations that yield bottom-line and top-line returns." Businesses today need to prove their environmental credentials in order to compete for customers and workers. Employee engagement is key to such efforts, as organizational change literature has shown that without effectively engaging the employee base to take ownership of the initiatives quickly, they can ultimately lose that initial momentum and fail to produce lasting improvements.1
Environmental employee engagement can improve operational performance while enhancing employee job satisfaction and productivity. The linkage between sustainability, employee productivity, and financial results is being demonstrated by successful Fortune 500 companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.
1Kotter, J.P. 1996. Leading Change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Senge, P., Kleiner, A., Roberts, & B. Smith. 1999. The Dance of Change: School Press. Senge, P., Kleiner, A., Roberts, & B. Smith. 1999. The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations. New York, NY: Doubleday.