Responsible business | Head of People on increasing staff engagement with ESG activities

Head of People on increasing staff engagement with ESG activities

The environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda is one that has become increasingly important to organisations.

British Business Bank defined ESG as “a set of standards measuring a business’s impact on society, the environment, and how transparent and accountable it is”. An organisation’s ability to positively contribute to the environment and communities it serves can have a huge impact on investment opportunities, the number of consumers that want to engage with the business, and a company’s ability to attract and retain top talent.

This chimes with data from OpenText which found that almost two-thirds (64%) of 18 to 24-year-olds wouldn’t buy from a company again if that organisation was accused of working with unethical suppliers. Other data from the CBI found that two-thirds of investors take ESG factors into consideration when investing in a company – meaning that this has the ability to boost business whilst also having a positive impact on the environment.

On the employee and prospective talent side of things, IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey revealed that 71% of employees and jobseekers said that environmentally sustainable companies are more attractive employers. Additionally, as was reported on by the CSR Journal, more than two-thirds of respondents were more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organisations, meaning that companies carrying out genuinely responsible business could be more successful at winning over top talent.

With this backdrop, HR Grapevine sat down with Rachel Dackombe, Head of People and Communications at Victoria Plum, about what can be done to bolster staff engagement with ESG initiatives.

HRGV: Why is more emphasis being placed on businesses to act responsibly? 

Dackombe: When we look back over the past few years with the focus on aspects such as climate change and Covid-19, customers, employees, and potential employees are wanting to see socially responsible businesses making decisions about their operations that are both ethically and morally right, and fit with their own beliefs and purpose.

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