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UN report says employee engagement is key to hitting environmental targets

UN report says employee engagement is key to hitting environmental targets but needs top management support

Environmental charity Global Action Plan has contributed to a new report & lsquo;Making Environmental Employee Engagement Happen:’ which emphasises the importance of employee engagement to achieving environmental targets. The report has been published this week by the United Nations Environment Programme Financial Initiative, (UNEP FI,) and reveals the views of leading financial institutions around the world such as Standard Chartered Bank, Citigroup and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. 

The report shows that 69% of financial institutions asked see employee engagement as a valuable tool to improve environmental performance and 94% already promote it.

Support from top management is number one on the report’s list of success factors for employee engagement programmes. With management buy-in, employee participation in environmental initiatives increases (one third party study shows an increase from 34% to 58%*) and there’s a higher chance of sustainability being integrated with overall business strategy, which also boosts value.

Head of Business at Global Action Plan, Amy Wilson, was acknowledged in the report and adds:

“This report substantiates what we know from our 18 years of experience in employee engagement. Getting buy-in and participation from senior management shows employees that the business is committed to sustainability issues, and reinforces the message that employees can make a difference.”

The UNEP FI report recommends Five Success Factors for effective environmental employee engagement:

1)    Support from top management
2)    Clearly linking activity with day to day job
3)    Involving employees in project development enhances ownerships and levels of participation
4)    Incorporating a competitive element is effective and relatively low cost
5)    Communicating action and encouraging involvement.

* 19 Ramus and Steger, 'The Roles of Supervisory Support Behaviors and Environmental Policy in Employee & lsquo;Ecoinitiatives’ at Leading-Edge European Companies in Rakowski, Employees engage creatively in environmental initiatives in supportive organizations.


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