While company’s begin to embark on the journey of building up a sustainability culture across the organization, many questions remain unanswered; for example, how can we know our practices are working?
Sustainability has taken a central role for businesses and all kinds of organizations, but its urgency has made it more complex than ever to implement, as it could require a deep transformation for many aspects of the company.
It is not only a matter of creating or enlarging the sustainability department in the organization, but rather making sustainability part of every single process: the strategy, the product or service, and even the people who drive the company’s actions in the first place.
But how can we measure how mature or how deeply embedded sustainability is in the company’s culture?
What does sustainability culture imply?
The journey to build a sustainability culture begins with a vision that understands sustainability as a core value of the organization. Because values are precisely what drive people in life overall.
However, it is essential that we can translate these values onto tangible elements in order to work with people through specific practices. This is, take the organizational sustainable values and engage people into adopting them as theirs too.
”Building a corporate culture, and specially a sustainability culture, requires working on the premise of a people-centered approach, in order for the cultural evolution to endure the passing of time.”
A sustainability culture is one that is aligned with people and the planet. And although there are many definitions of culture, individual’s behavior is probably the one thing that defines the latter best.
3 Ways in which to measure your sustainability culture
Diversity and inclusion policies:
Studies have shown that diverse and inclusive teams perform better as they have a broader understanding of consumers, as well as a more proactive and open space in which to bring ideas to the table and encourage innovation.
But, is diversity and inclusion an established matter? Is it defined or talked about? Are they just policies written down on a playbook, or are they actually part of the strategic roadmap? These are some questions one could ask in order to have a clearer understanding of where the company stands on inclusion and diversity matters.
Diversity focuses on the different qualities and walks of life of employees, from religion to socioeconomic matters or gender, for example, is this differences that can provide diverse points of view and a more wholesome understanding of the value chain overall. However, diversity does not guarantee inclusion.
Inclusion is about feeling a sense of belonging and value inside a given group or community, as well as feeling supported and inspired to achieve individual and collective goals.
Defining these concepts and setting the targets and objectives for a given company regarding diversity and inclusion is also a way to keep track on whether we are making progress towards the set goals.
Measuring diversity and inclusion can be tricky, as they are quite ambiguous concepts to make tangible. Nevertheless, there are a few things that can help bring light to it, such as the amount of policies and procedures designed specifically for DEI matters, the transparency in the communication of such policies and procedures, for example during the onboarding programmes, or when changes are made in the latter…
It is also important to remember that defining these concepts and setting the targets and objectives for a given company regarding diversity and inclusion is also a way to keep track on whether we are making progress towards the set goals, and if not, how can we reconsider this matter to make sure it fits the ever changing social dynamics of the world.
Human Resources and Sustainability: SDGs and KPIs
As we said before, people and individuals’ behavior make up the culture of the company for the most part, and so the role of HR in defining KPIs for the sustainability culture is essential. And what better KPIs to measure sustainability than SDGs?
Oftentimes company’s seem to stop at the environmental aspect of Sustainable Development Goals, but sustainability is much more than that. In this particular case we wanted to focus on SDG 3 as one of the most relevant goals that HR can use as a KPI.
SDG 3 refers to good health and wellbeing, and these two factors are inseparable from worklife. Especially after the pandemic, employees have shifted their demands greatly, and many companies have come to realize the importance of physical and mental well being of their workforce for the performance of the company.
This is, the well being and health of employees is a core element of the long term survival of the company, which includes things such as physical health, mental stability, a sense of purpose and belonging, a sense of pride in the work they do…
Open communication channels, regular HR briefings and programs with employees, rights and policies encouraging flexibility for individuals’… these are some things we can look at to understand the involvement of the department with the achievement of indicators and targets as established on the SDG3.
Reskilling and upskilling
As explained before, part of sustainability and employee’s wellbeing is the sense of belonging and pride in the work they do, but the ever-changing dynamics of the labor market or the technological disruptiveness can alter many jobs in very short periods of time, leaving people under the uncertainty of keeping a decent employment position.
This is why reskilling and upskilling are a great sign that your company is working towards a strong and sustainable culture, guaranteeing that people can stay employed in the mid and long term as well as keeping up with the changes explained before.
The most clear measuring element for these two practices is the amount of investing directed towards reskilling and upskilling programs and other procedures that can help the workforce properly adapt, for example technological services or products for training and education.
Learn morea about how to build a sustainability culture
Transparency: a common denominator
We believe and work for transparency to be one of the key values driving the sustainable business transformation, as it is the only way to understand what we are doing wrong, what we are doing right and what it is that we are not doing yet.
Because being transparent is not only an externality to a company, or a given organization, to help build trust and reputation; it is in fact also a great learning and improvement mechanism. You cannot manage what you don’t understand. And so we advocate for transparency, integrity and precision as imperatives to the fight against today’s pending challenges.
In DoGood we are convinced of the need to understand and manage efforts to achieve a sustainable transition inside an organization for the correct and efficient functioning of the business and the community it operates in. We alone cannot achieve the substantial changes necessary, but we work on the basis of collaboration, transparency and accuracy in order to bring light to sustainable actions.
In this regard, it is essential to our work to promote good corporate governance, meaning that the processes of disclosure and transparency are followed so as to provide regulators and shareholders as well as the general public with precise and accurate information about the financial, operational and other aspects of the company, including a more accurate definition of the ESG performance.
We have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.