How to Focus on Sustainability With a Remote Workforce

2020 was your sustainability year! You eventually got all teams on board, created great employee momentum in February, and by mid-March, all employees were working from home and you’re scrambling to keep employee culture, keep employees safe and figure out this brave new COVID world. Sound familiar?

Luckily, your sustainability strategy doesn’t have to stop just because everyone’s remote. Use accessible resources-employees, time, the spirit of innovation- to keep your strategy on track. We’ve put together solutions for companies trying to focus on sustainability, apart.

To continue sustainability while employees are at home, focus on creating policies, collecting data, using employee practices and harnessing innovation to fine-tune your sustainability strategy while employees are at home.

Continue to Collect and Record Resource Data

If you’ve got a data or sustainability reporting formation set up, keep it. Continue to input energy, water and waste bills. Obviously, these will be lower if you aren’t in the office, but add your data and report on goals.

Collecting data now is useful for annual and quarterly reporting. It’s also a good time to see how your data compares to new indicators. Try correlating data with sales or revenue to get a clearer picture of how these are linked.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a data system set up, start one now. Create a spreadsheet to input waste, water and energy bills for this year and last and start comparing results.

How do employees share, understand or collect Even if you do already have a central system, make sure employees are aware of and have access to it.

Share Employee Home Practices

As we all spend more time at home, create a system, meeting or slack channel for home sustainability practices for employees. This could mean less printing, food waste practices, plastic reduction or other positive habits. If your company culture is tuned into sustainability your employees probably are.

Consider sharing employees’ practices on social media or as part of an updated sustainability content strategy. Have employees write or contribute to blogs on home sustainability strategies.

Consider setting up Zoom calls on different topics or having employees share their best at-home practices. While everyone is looking for ways to continue employee engagement and connection, don’t overlook sustainability.

Keep Reporting

Just as you’re continuing to collect data, continue reporting on progress. If you share goals monthly, quarterly or on a regular schedule, keep doing so. You can report regular numbers (now probably much lower) or create a report on how you’re carrying on sustainability at home. Make sure the person responsible for reporting continues a regular report on progress.

Solidify Policies and Paperwork

No time like the present to dive into policies! If you’ve ever wanted to get a waste or energy policy on paper or finally start a supply chain code of conduct, start now. Make sure you’ve got relevant governance policies like code of conduct, whistleblower information or stakeholder engagement policies. Loop in HR to get their assistance.

Check with an attorney if you’ve decided to add more policies to your repertoire. Usually, they have some templates or suggestions for policies, as well as making sure you’re covered legally. You can also assign policies to teams or employees and then have their manager review and add it to the company database.

Harness Sustainability Innovation

Businesses around the world have had to quickly pivot to help facilitate employees at home, creating new products for essential workers, and adjusting to new ways of doing business. We’re all in an innovation mindset.

Use some of that mindset in thinking about sustainability. Take 20 minutes to brainstorm what sustainability could look like in 2021 and beyond.

Think about questions related to changes you’ve seen that seemed unachievable 6 months ago. Think about your goals, new opportunities that have opened up and how you want to be perceived in the future.

There are lots of techniques to continue thinking about and acting on sustainable habits. With an innovation mindset, when you take time to create policies and continue to collect data, strategy progresses.

How are you keeping up with sustainability? Share your tactics or best tips in the comments.

Originally published here.

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Author: Eliza Erskine

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