Beyond the marketing opportunities corporate sustainability practices create, recent trends indicate that a company’s stance on social and environmental issues impact a potential employee’s employment choice. It has been estimated that 50% of American workers more heavily consider working for “green” companies. Of the estimated 50%, women and members of Generation Y represent the largest demographic groups who prefer to work for “green companies”. These individuals want to work for a company whose mission is more than profitability. They seek environmental and economic dimensions that encompass a wider community. Companies who prefer ‘value driven’ individuals must create a corporate culture that fully engages employees beyond daily tasks in the office and into social causes.
How does an environmental corporate culture benefit the company? The answer lies in the extra step of motivation gained by encompassing environmental values into corporate culture. Employees, in particular ‘value driven’ individuals, will go above and beyond when they are fully engaged and can gain a sense of meaning from the work that they do. Employees who associate feelings of pride with the company are more likely to spread positive word of mouth that can attract valuable employees and customers. Recognizing the positive impact of sustainability and environmental consciousness, human resources departments have begun to utilize sustainability as a method to recruit, retain and motivate the workforce. Environmental values can be transitioned into a beneficial employee engagement strategy that motivates your dynamic employees and can create a culture of commitment.
An example of environmental corporate culture can be found in Bloomington, Minnesota at Quality Bicycle Products, or QBP, where corporate values contribute to an environmental corporate culture. An Environmental Statement can be found on QBP’s website with ease and exemplifies the sustainability tone the company has created. QBP operates in a LEED building, which meets the standards of the U.S. Green Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Receiving a DC LEED Gold certification in 2007 the company has turned their certification into an education opportunity by providing Eco-Tours. QBP offers Eco-Tours of the distribution center and office to promote the use of solar energy, water conservation strategies, sustainable landscaping and other environmental features of the building. QBP has centered its corporate culture on ACE or efforts in advocacy, community service and environmental stewardship. Quality Bicycle Products uses ACE to ensure that the best business practices are utilized, to motivate employees to connect with the corporate culture, and encourage community involvement. The ACE model developed by QBP is a valuable example of environmental corporate culture execution and success.
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