“Greening” Your Bottom-line
August 16, 2021
Witnessing the world buckling to deal with the environmental pollution has not only changed consumer sentiment, but also affected people’s “job preference”. Specifically, while consumers tend to favor "green" brands, workers are more likely to click "apply" for companies committing to create long-term values. Therefore, sustainability is not only a trend, but also a “must-have” for businesses that want to attract talent and develop sustainably at the same time.
“Greening” is no longer just a trend but has become a condition worth considering for businesses if they want to conquer employees.
“Green” – A strategy to help global businesses “score goals”
In 2020, a research company named Corporate Knights from Canada announced the list of the 100 “greenest” businesses on the planet, and the trophy went to Ørsted – a Danish multinational power company. It was known that since 2008, this enterprise had changed its business model by shifting focus from fossil fuel to investing in wind energy. This strategy helped Ørsted reduce its carbon footprint by 83% in production.
In parallel, Ørsted also applied sustainable development policies in human resource management, for example, increasing the proportion of women in top management positions from 13% (in 2019) to 20% (in 2020). In addition, to be in-line with the world’s trend, the company expanded skill-up training programs and designed psychological counseling activities to help employees reduce workplace stress. After a series of guidelines towards sustainable development from the business model to human resource policies, it was not surprising that 78% of Ørsted employees declared their content with the company in 2020. The company’s profit also increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2019.
The research titled Advancing Sustainability: HR’s role conducted by The Society for HRM also showed that companies adopting the sustainable development strategy experience 38% increase in employee loyalty. Additionally, another research from Britain, Decade of Disruption: The Future of Sustainable Workplaces in the Age of Covid-19 and Climate Change, indicated that up to 65% of workers in the UK want to work for companies that concentrate on environmental issues.
In Vietnam, not only stopping at just environmental problems, a number of business are also spreading the green of sustainability to human resources, production, etc. It is not only a trend but an operation principle. Sustainable operation helps businesses to develop sustainably but still ensure they are protected in the face of unpredictable future of the so-called “the new normal”. When this “long-term investment” is made simultaneously by businesses, it will make a major leap in the quality of lives of each employee, businesses and the whole society.
Vietnamese businesses are joining the “green game”
As one of the “big boys” in the field of technology, Intel Vietnam determines that sustainable development is not only an “environmental game” but also a 360-degree strategy, specifically the RISE model (Responsible, Inclusive, Sustainable world, Enabled through technology). Some of the measures Intel Vietnam has implemented including: closing the gender gap in the workforce, ensuring the employees’ welfare. By 2019, Intel Vietnam had reached 31% of female employees working in the engineering sector and 95% of Vietnamese employees holding positions from production specialists to senior directors, heads of departments.
In the case of Nestlé Vietnam, the sustainable development strategy revolves around trying to improve the salary, bonus, and welfare policies for employees and investing in applying high technology to renovate the working space. Since 2018, Nestlé Vietnam has already applied the “Talent Factory” to build strong frontline workforce to meet current requirements, improve the inherited talent pool to align with future development requirements. Moreover, the company has tightened the relationship between employees and the company’s business strategy. This idea has helped Nestlé Vietnam win the prestigious awards in the categories of “Salary, Compensation – Welfare Policy” and “Talent Management” at Vietnam HR Awards 2018.
Sustainability is the “long journey” that every business needs to do well from small steps
To go on a long journey, you need to take the first small steps.
To be able to walk firmly on the path of sustainable development, Intel Vietnam and Nestlé Vietnam have persistently implemented human resource policies for many years. It shows that sustainability is the “long journey” that every business needs to do well from small steps. Here is a “to-do list” for Vietnamese businesses to start their journey towards sustainable development from now on, both in business and in human resources. One of the “handbooks” that you can refer to is the list of “Good life goals” made by the lifestyle consulting company FUTERRA. The following four points have been selected to align with Vietnamese businesses:
The first is to take care of the physical health and spiritual life: providing practical health benefits such as insurance packages for employees and family members.
The second is to enhance training quality: regularly organizing soft skills trainings, expertise development sessions, etc., to create opportunities for employees to develop and upskill for the job at present and in the future.
The third is to eliminate inequality: creating equal development opportunities for all individuals in the organization, offering salary and welfare policies that match employees’ abilities and contributions.
The fourth is to protect the environment: training employees on protecting water resources and the environment, switching to clean energy such as solar energy for production.
In short, “greening” is a comprehensive development strategy and requires businesses to persevere in the long run; however, the results this strategy brings are “bang for the companies’ bucks”. Pieces of evidence are covered through the actual story of Ørsted, Intel Vietnam, or Nestlé Vietnam. If businesses dare to take the first steps then, sooner or later, the journey will be completed, and the “sweet fruits” from this “season” can be harvested.