Another way that green employers can bring more job satisfaction to employees is to offer green benefits above and beyond the usual benefit package. Depending on the employer that can mean a lot of different things, from offering time off to volunteer for an earth-friendly cause to providing alternative transportation options such as sponsoring a hybrid car purchase.
According to the article, “Renewable Energy Firms Strike Gold with Employee Benefits,” employees at one net carbon neutral company cite a benefit of working there as the opportunity to work with others who share their values to live a “healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.” Plus this small firm of just six employees “encourages morning group workouts, subsidizes gym memberships and grants time off for marathons.” They say these green employee benefits keep them happy and involved.
…recycling in the office, reducing energy consumption in the office and use video conferencing or telepresence technologies intensively, have higher customer satisfaction, higher employee satisfaction and higher revenues per employee.
Doug McKenzie-Mohr, author of Fostering Sustainable Behavior and environmental psychologist has a great website to look up articles and cases studies that relate to fostering sustainable behavior. His focus is more on communities and public at large social marketing techniques but the resources and information can be applied to business too. He has five main topic areas of agriculture and conservation, energy, transportation, waste and pollution and water. Anyone can sign up for an account, just click on Account to sign up and you can access the discussion forums.
His book, Fostering Sustainable Behavior, is also available online to read. It is a comprehensive book on how to identify the behaviors a community wants to change and build a strategy around changing those behaviors.
Tools of Change is another site that offers community-based social marketing resources. This site also has case studies as well as planning guides to help communities begin planning environmental strategies. Their topics include environmental, health and nutrition and safety.
A report published by multiple entities offers insight into how small businesses can profit from sustainability. Sustainability initiatives can be challenging when most small businesses don’t own their building or facilities nor manufacture their products. This report focuses on case studies from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. It offers some best practices on sustainability that small businesses can employ immediately with little cost and high return.
The report provides company case studies and examples of how to create the eco-culture in an organization. It also discusses four key areas to encourage employee engagement with sustainability initiatives. Here is a brief overview of their suggestions:
Green Teams: Companies have found success engaging green teams in the company who can help foster and lead green initiatives.
Volunteerism: Through volunteerism employees become engaged first hand with non profits as well as social issues that exist in communities.
Social Media: Through various company examples, they are finding social media such as discussion forums, are ways that employees can self-organize and contribute to company’s sustainable practices.
Awards and Incentives: Through these external motivations, employees also seem to respond well to being recognized via awards or provided perks and incentives to change behaviors.
This newly released book, A Simple Path to Sustainability, was built around case histories showcasing 12 Colorado small to medium sized organizations that have outstanding records of sustainability. The book was designed specifically to help smaller enterprises gain knowledge on best practices as well as inspire owners and management to undertake sustainable strategies. K.J. McCorry, owner of eco-officiency and sustainability consultant is a contributing author of one of these chapters on New Belgium Brewery.
The case studies collected detail on each company’s journey from initial sustainability idea through building a comprehensive plan, establishing a new company culture, engaging stakeholders and planning for the future. Each chapter also provides the challenges encountered along with lessons learned. Here are a few of the companies that are discussed in the book; Eco-Products, Boulder Community Hospital, Boulder Outlook Hotel, Boulder Valley Credit Union, First Affirmative Financial Network and Guaranteed Recycling Xperts.
Walmart Canada recently launched a website, ShareGreen, that offers case studies on green business best practices within Canada.
Case studies have already been posted from companies such as Nestle Water, Stonyfield Farms, Tetra Pak, SC Johnson and Kimblerly-Clark. All companies are encouraged to share their stories and case studies on how they have improved energy, waste, green products and solution, and employee engagement.
Case studies are organized by industry sector such as food and beverage, manufacturing, professional services, resource extraction and retail industries, with plans to add further industries for the government, tourism and transportation sectors.
Take a look and see what other companies are doing to be more green and eco-conscious in their business.