- Global insights and learnings from Jeri Ballard, Shell
- The impact of sustainability
- Embedding sustainability into an organisation
Over the last few months we have seen the way we work change dramatically, and as employers look to adapt their businesses, work will not look like it did at the start of 2020. In these unprecedented times senior leaders tell us how important they think issues like sustainability and purpose will be to future generations.
Jeri Ballard – Executive Vice President, Real Estate, Shell, says: “I think they’re both going to be hugely important, the generation that we’re hiring now is incredibly switched on to sustainability and I don’t think they are going to go for the trade-offs for very long. We all did a lot of victory laps around getting rid of single use plastics and I think they’re fully going to expect that to go away. We need to figure out how to solve the problem a different way, rather than throwing plastics at things in the short-term. I think they’re going to expect us to figure this out and to get on with it.”
Sarah Morris – Group Chief People Officer, Compass Group agrees: “We know that the generation coming through is more focused than ever on sustainability. If we were winning the war on plastics, we now know that might have to take a step back in a bid to provide a safe and secure environment, and we are thoughtful about how that intersection with sustainability is going to work as an employer value proposition in future.”
Embedding sustainability into everyday business
Dimple Agarwal – Deputy CEO UK and Managing Partner for People, Deloitte, says: “We carry out a millennial survey every year and they are becoming more and more pe assimistic about the role organisations have played in society. For example, last year’s survey said that 64% of people believe that profit is the only goal. Actually sustainability, climate change, education and opportunity are the top issues that everyone is talking about, so I think one of the learnings is that it needs to be embedded into day to day business.
“There are lots of organisations out there, for example Unilever, who have already shown that you can still make profit with purpose while staying sustainable, whilst doing the right things for society. I think that’s been the biggest shift in the last 12 -18 months in terms of how corporates are thinking about it.”
The sustainability impact outside the office building
We also need to consider sustainability outside of the office, Michiel Bakker – Director, Global Workplace Services Programs, Google says: “We’re starting to see people asking the question, should we look at the sustainability impact of an organisation incorporating the impact you make at home as well. We can say that we’re using less energy because there are fewer in the office, but how can you track the sustainability impact of an organisation wherever that work is being done? This is important because you will potentially be held accountable for the impact that you make based on the function that you ask people to do wherever they might do that.”