3 reasons your business needs to be thinking about sustainability right now

- November 30, 2022 2 MIN READ

A recent study by Adobe has revealed sustainability concerns are guiding jobseekers’ decisions when it comes to choosing and staying with employers.

As sustainability becomes a key priority for many Aussie businesses, Adobe’s ‘Sustainability at Work’ research found that Australian employees see sustainability as an opportunity for businesses to innovate, attract talent and retain staff.

The top three recommendations Australians suggest about sustainability in the workplace are recycling programs, reducing or eliminating paper and plastic usage in the workplace, and prioritising renewable energy.

Businesses that adopt sustainable practices are being rewarded with employee loyalty and engagement.

Sustainability at work

Sustainability matters to Australian employees. Over half of the respondents are actively involved in driving sustainable practices in their workplace, and six in ten (62 per cent) said they believe their company wants to reduce the harm it causes the environment.

The recent switch to hybrid and remote work models has also been seen as a benefit to the environment. According to the survey data, 64 per cent of Australians believe that hybrid working can make businesses more sustainable. The reasoning: reduced emissions (due to less commuting) and in electricity consumption and office space required.

Millennials leading the way

While most Australians surveyed want to keep up with sustainability practices and believe that it is a key success metric for any business, it is Millennials that are leading the way. Younger age groups (18-34 years) are reportedly more engaged and involved in their company’s sustainability practices. Other age groups (especially 55+ years) tend to be more disconnected, according to the data.

While 55 per cent of Australians are involved in driving sustainability practices in their workplace, this figure is higher for the 25 to 34-year age group (64 per cent) and lower for those aged 55+ (48 per cent).

Australian employees also see sustainability as an opportunity for talent attraction and retention.

Role of leadership in workplace sustainability

While the majority of business leaders (75 per cent) believe realising sustainability goals is an essential measure of success and a high priority, some Aussie employees think businesses aren’t doing enough. One-third (33 per cent) of Australian employees believe their company is resistant to making changes towards achieving sustainability.

Australian employees are also clued into the benefits of sustainability at the workplace with the top three benefits being less harm caused to the environment, lower costs, and improved workplace culture.

Three out of ten employees say they will only work for a business that prioritises sustainability.

Mission 2030

Respondents also believe that one of the key opportunities for sustainable development in the future will include consideration of the entire supply chain. Seven in ten Aussies think sustainability initiatives will be viewed as a platform for innovation and thought leadership in the future.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of Australians estimated that companies will revamp internal processes to reduce their in-office and workspace environmental impact. Australians also believe that their companies should be implementing more sustainability programs (50 per cent), reducing or eliminating paper usage (45 per cent) and reducing or eliminating plastic (38 per cent) in the workplace. While more women more strongly support the reduction or elimination of paper and plastic at work than men.

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Now read this: 

4 small business sustainability myths debunked

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