The Green HR Revolution: Adapting Businesses to Climate Realities

Climate change, a topic discussed for many years, has recently gained urgency globally, with governments worldwide acknowledging the need for change. However, understanding the intricacies of climate change and determining the role businesses, specifically the HR department, can play in making a difference is essential.

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a large-scale, long-term shift in the planet’s weather patterns and average temperatures, according to the MET office. The Earth relies on a delicate balance of gases creating a ‘greenhouse effect’ to maintain a temperature suitable for life.

Main Causes of Climate Change:

Human activities, particularly since the industrial revolution, have led to a significant increase in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and increased livestock for food production contribute to this rise in emissions. The result is an enhanced greenhouse effect, trapping excessive heat from the sun and causing global warming.

Business Strategies to Make a Difference:

While reducing greenhouse gases quickly is challenging, businesses can adopt practices to mitigate their impact on the environment. This includes reducing energy consumption, switching to renewable energy suppliers, choosing sustainable suppliers, and encouraging environmentally friendly commuting.

HR’s Role in Climate Change Mitigation:

HR plays a crucial role in driving change within organizations and fostering a climate-aware workforce. Key strategies include:

  • Creating an environmentally aware working culture.
  • Keeping employees informed and educated about climate and environmental changes.
  • Targeting environmentally responsible applicants during recruitment.
  • Incorporating climate-related goals into performance appraisals and reviews.
  • Introducing climate and environmental targets for staff bonuses.
  • Utilizing online calculators to estimate the business’s carbon footprint.
  • Implementing flexible working policies focused on reducing environmental impacts.
  • Seeking employee input on reducing environmental impact.

Benefits for Businesses:

Implementing environmentally sound policies can have several positive impacts on businesses, including:

  • Reducing energy bills by turning off non-essential equipment.
  • Cutting costs through waste reduction and recycling.
  • Attracting more conscientious applicants for a better working environment.
  • Decreasing travel expenses by minimizing travel between offices.

While public opinions on climate change have been divided, recent global shifts suggest increased seriousness and urgency in addressing the issue. The effects of global warming are becoming more apparent, emphasizing the need for action. Although not an overnight fix, businesses and individuals can make a difference by adopting sustainable practices. These recommendations highlight the role of HR in fostering climate awareness and driving positive change within organizations, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Latest posts by Isik Serifsoy (see all)