- Sustainability weighs heavily in attracting global workers, according to March survey data published by the IBM Institute for Value.
- The institute found 71% of employees and job seekers surveyed said environmentally sustainable companies were more attractive than other companies as places to work, and more than two-thirds of "full potential workforce" respondents — a group that includes full-time and part-time employees, unemployed persons seeking employment, and full-time students and apprentices — were more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organizations.
- Additionally, nearly half of respondents would accept a lower salary to work at an environmentally and socially responsible organization, IBM said. The survey queried more than 14,000 adults across nine countries.
IBM's findings echo previous research on the issue of global sustainability and the role it may play in organizational branding. In January 2020, an analysis published by strategic consulting firm High Lantern Group said climate change was the top social issue impacting corporate brands surpassing other causes such as a living wage.
However, those findings also preceded a turbulent year that saw a pandemic and a massive push to address issues of systemic racism globally, which may have pushed the cause for sustainability even further among organizational leaders.
A February report by Mercer found many U.S. business leaders planned to "take a more expansive view" of their companies' responsibilities in the context of individual and societal well-being this year. The consulting firm also found 60% of HR leader respondents said their companies "continued or stepped up the pace" toward business approaches emphasizing environmental, social and governance metrics.
Sustainability initiatives can be supported by supply chain and product innovations, but they also can involve work-related strategies. Sources who spoke to HR Dive in 2017 cited ideas ranging from benefits that incentivize employees to purchase sustainable products to programs that allot time off for workers to perform service projects in their communities.