How HR Can Support Environmental Sustainability?

  • Updated on: 10 Apr 2023
  • Published on: 8 Dec 2021
How HR Can Support Environmental Sustainability?

Highlight: Highlight: Human resource management is crucial in assisting the organization in increasing its effectiveness, managing corporate governance and ethical concerns beyond financial performance. With changing times, investment in environmental sustainability can change the map of the company’s growth.

Do you know by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish? According to the World Health Organization, pollution is now responsible for a quarter of all fatalities worldwide. Around 40,000 square kilometers of arable land are lost each year globally to rampant deforestation and developmental activities.

The University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership report stresses how organizations unintentionally cause negative repercussions on society and the environment. As per the findings in the paper,  businesses are failing to provide leadership in response to the fourth industrial revolution’s extraordinary developments. Given the nature and size of the issues, organizations no longer have the luxury of choosing to respond. They have to move beyond just maximizing profits. 

Sustainability is the savior of the world that has started to melt today under the blanket of climate change and global warming. The term ‘sustainability’ refers to ‘adequately addressing the requirements of people today without jeopardizing future generations’ ability to meet their own needs.’ When we look at sustainability practices in the workplace, we seek human resources that support a positive working environment and beneficial human and social outcomes without focusing on financial methods and results.

Human resource management is crucial in assisting the organization in increasing its effectiveness, managing corporate governance and ethical concerns beyond financial performance. With changing times, investment in environmental sustainability can change the map of the company’s growth.

Let us look at the five ways sustainability in the workplace can be practiced.

#1 Going digital

Why should companies lag behind when the world is steadily stepping on the digital train? Going paperless is commonly associated with environmental sustainability. While this isn’t a leading solution for becoming environmentally sustainable, it’s a good start.

HR can go paperless with policies, payslips, and other company documentation in addition to performance reviews. A recent PwC survey of 12,000 workers found that half of the employees desire specific HR duties to be automated, in addition to the environmental benefits.

#2 Reuse and Recycle

We’ve all read about the 3 Golden Rs to promote sustainability. Investing in office equipment that is not made of single-use plastics is a good way of ensuring a plastic-free environment. Investing in such environment-friendly products also cuts down on expenditure. 

Customers appreciate knowing that the businesses they buy from are ethical, and publicizing recycling activities might boost consumer loyalty and popularity among netizens. Recycling can also improve the company’s image with employees, since seeing an effort made at the office can promote morale, reduce staff turnover, and motivate people to do more at home.

#3 Transparent Sustainable Company Culture

HR can play a pivotal role in helping management define a coherent idea of sustainable company culture. By putting an adequately structured sustainability policy, the authorities can ensure that the employees are educated about viable, sustainable practices. These policies must also be open to discussion and criticism. 

Because each company culture is unique, as are its employees, corporate culture should be created involving all employees who contribute to its success and thrive. Fostering a transparent workplace empowers employees and management to take responsibility for attaining these objectives.

#4 Hiring the Right People

Sustainable goals should be a significant consideration during the hiring and onboarding process. Making it a part of the interview discussion will make the recruit aware of its policies. Employees shape a company’s culture. Whatever the leaders’ rhetoric or operational processes, if the right people aren’t in place to turn them into results and reality, they’re just concepts. 

HR’s sacred job is to assist managers in bringing in the most compatible applicants and maintaining open communication and actionable feedback. Hiring the right people is also crucial in maintaining the company’s cultural fit.

#5 Review and Implement

HR must take the lead in determining the best practice areas of concentration to influence the desired culture. It is essential to reflect on the existing work practices and revamp them to align with the sustainability objectives. Any areas that aren’t up to par should be addressed, and a code of ethics should be created and distributed to the entire workforce.

Additionally, reviewing sustainable goals regularly and comparing them to societal challenges is essential. HR can have the most impact by working with leadership to connect its performance management process with its vision, mission, values, and fundamental principles. Following the objectives is as essential as strategically implementing them.

Benefits of Sustainability

Maintaining a sustainable culture will not go unrewarded. In the long term, sustainability in the workplace fosters many benefits. Employees who are bright and skilled typically want to work for companies that put ethics over profits. A potential company needs to have good corporate social responsibility (CSR) procedures to improve its recruitment standards. 

By developing and sustaining a collective sense of the social environment in the business, sustainability aids in the creation of a competitive advantage. 33% of consumers today prefer sustainable products.

The organization can develop a positive culture toward pay justice, workforce inclusion, diversity, and fewer occurrences of sexual harassment through sustainability.

A sustainable workplace values ethical behavior and instills the same in employees. The human resource department coordinates the ethics, sustainability, and compliance teams to collaborate and develop integrity-based cultures.


Adopting sustainable practices creates a happy and healthy workplace and assures a clean Earth.  When your staff genuinely cares about reducing waste and increasing your company’s efficiency, it can pay off financially.

Fibe, too, with its digital initiatives, like paperless transactions and employee wellness program collabs, is doing its bit towards promoting a sustainable work culture. 

When it comes to formulating plans for progress and growth, every forward-thinking firm needs to consider a sustainable approach. Sustainability is, without a doubt, the way of the future.

Download the instant loan app here, or log in to our website and be a part of the #OneSmallStep experience.


Our top picks

Can Millennial Stress be Resolved by Financial Wellness?
Finance | 3 mins read
How Organisations Can Measure the Impact of Financial Wellness Programs
Finance | 3 mins read
How Can HR help Overcome Staffing Challenges in the Digital Age?
Corporate | 3 mins read
5 Signs of A Good HR Function
Corporate | 3 mins read