What is Sustainability?
We’ll start by making sure you grasp the often confusing concept of sustainability. In
general, sustainability is the state where a process can continue indefinitely, either maintaining
or improving. You may wonder why this is an issue, thinking that any business making profits is
sustaining itself. That kind of thinking has been the dominant view until fairly recently, and it has let
companies stagnate in ridiculously wasteful and costly practices. While a business may be making a
profit, it might also be costing a lot of money. Their goals may not be achieved as they’d hope. They
may drain their resources to the point that there are no more resources, or the resources become too
The business may also be getting a negative reputation for harming the community. And it simply
doesn’t make sense to cost yourself money because of waste and inefficiency.
Sustainability in business refers to optimizing practices and policies so they will be most
These practices might span hiring, materials use, energy use, productivity, or any function in the
business that impacts cost.
Many businesses care about sustainability because their owners are concerned about the business’
impact on the environment or because their customers are concerned.
Most businesses today care about sustainability because of its relevance to costs and competition. A
non-sustainable company will not be able to compete with a comparable sustainable business.
No matter the motivation, sustainability concepts, and strategies mix business sustainability and
environmental sustainability because the two can’t really be separated. If waste and inefficiency are
impacting the planet, it is also affecting your business.
And if you want to curb costs, you’ll need to curb this waste as well as any other.
Our supply base has major impact on the overall sustainability of our business. Sustainability goals will
only be achievable if our key suppliers understand their role in our sustainability journey and success.
Suppliers play an essential role in our sustainability journey. Sustainability goals will only be
achievable within the supply chain if our key suppliers are fully engaged and understand their role
in our sustainability journey and success.
Our sustainability strategy and objectives must be aligned with their goals, too. Both parties should
agree on sustainability standards and monitoring practices jointly. After that, it is up to each party
to achieve the mutually agreed-upon standards.
We identified two ways of working towards our sustainability goals with suppliers:
Selecting suppliers whose sustainable commitments match our own, or
Working to establish collaborative processes with suppliers to get there.
While the first may seem ideal, it's not always realistic. That's why we need to motivate and
manage our suppliers towards sustainability.
The term sustainable mobility goes far beyond reducing emissions. The transport sector has the
potential to improve the lives and livelihoods of billions of people. However, as well as meeting people’s
needs today, the sector must be ready to respond to future generations’ expectations: this is the
essence of sustainable development. The European Union Council of Ministers of Transport, has defined
a sustainable transportation system as one that “allows the basic access and development needs of
individuals, companies and society to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and
ecosystem health, and promotes equity within and between successive generations.”
The United Nations has defined sustainable transport as “the provision of services and infrastructure for
the mobility of people and goods— advancing economic and social development to benefit today’s and
future generations—in a manner that is safe, affordable, accessible, efficient, and resilient, while
minimising carbon and other emissions and environmental impact.”
A range of innovative mobility trends, including shared mobility, and providing affordable and
sustainable mobility options for people, can help achieve global sustainability goals
Shared mobility can play a key role in reducing emissions as well as congestion. By sharing various
modes of transport (cars, scooters, e-bikes) we can avoid owned vehicles standing idle for most of the
day and optimise the use of vehicles by doing more with less. ‘NOwnership’, in which people do not own
the means of transportation but pay per use,- has already started to change our habits, especially in
According to research conducted by MIT on the benefits of shared mobility, this type of mobility could
also reduce the occupation of parking spaces in cities by 86 per cent, freeing up precious public space
and radically rethinking how space is used.
Improving the quality and quantity of public transport services is one of the most eﬃcient ways of
reducing both emissions and congestion. The real competitor of collective transport is individual
transport, so it is crucial to oﬀer services of good quality and high frequency.
Countries or cities that invest the most in public transport systems are also those with the highest shares
of modal split. For example, a recent study showed that the availability of rail infrastructure and services
has a direct influence on modal split and greenhouse gas emissions .
Digital technologies enable automated mobility and smart traffic management, making transport more
efficient and thus reducing emissions. Intelligent transport systems will play a key role in making
mobility more efficient on our roads, on the water and in the air.
For example, peer-to-peer, vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity can support
sustainable trip choices, allow for multimodal transport, improve access to public transport and reduce
congestion as well as fuel consumption. Connectivity can optimize travel mode and route selection,
improving traffic flow and reducing fuel consumption.
Automated vehicle control promises to improve energy efficiency, safety, and convenience. With each
level of automation and improved connectivity, fuel consumption is reduced.
Walking & cycling
The promotion of soft mobility is a simple way to reduce emissions and improve the quality of life,
especially in urban areas.
Reducing emissions from every mode of transport
In parallel with increasing efficiency, ‘decarbonizing’ transport is vital. For around 200 years, we have
relied on fossil sources to power transport. We need to shift to renewable sources, fast. This means a
fundamental shift, and all solutions will be needed.
6 Innovative Ways to Embrace Sustainability in the Office
1. Switch to eco-friendly cleaning supplies
2. Get smarter about thermostat use
3. Decorate the office with plants
4. Enjoy more sustainable coffee
5. Reduce single-use packaging and plastics
6. Reduce office food waste.
Finally, we invite our employees to have a real voice on sustainability in the office. Create a dedicated
space where they can submit ideas to improve the existing practices and processes already in play. No
one knows where the problems exist better than your employees!
When you embrace sustainability in the office, everyone benefits. Make this year one to remember by
doubling down on the green practices that work and testing new and innovative ways to make your
office a healthier, happier, and more sustainable place to work.
Sustainability recruitment is a strategy of hiring with sustainability in mind.
Sustainability recruiters concern themselves with building networks of sustainable companies and
candidates, utilizing techniques to create the most lasting and productive hire, building an employer
brand centering on sustainability, and helping businesses plan their sustainability goals.
Retention is king in sustainability recruiting.
These recruiters employ strategies to find the most successful match for a job and then check back,
usually in 90 days, to make sure the hire is working as intended.
Sustainability recruiters teach employers how to use their new sustainability candidates for maximum
Sustainable recruitment combines making the most compatible hire and then maintaining an
environment that nurtures that hire through the long term. It requires both efforts to keep employees
and help them be as productive as possible.
Ellen Weinreb, CEO of the Weinreb Group and one of the most prominent people in sustainability
recruitment, described her strategy on greenbiz.com:
Sustainability professionals can be categorized into three tiers. The first tier is the head of sustainability
or the chief sustainability officer.
The second tier are those who directly report to the sustainability chief within the sustainability office. On
average, a head of sustainability has four direct reports, leaving the sustainability office with a mere five
That’s a lean organization to influence change and implement a broad range of sustainability initiatives.
Beyond sustainability, the office is the third tier. We call this layer the ‘Sustainability Embeds.’ they do
not work for the sustainability office, yet they are integrated and embedded into other business units.
This is where we see the most growth, plus a formalization of how that embedded layer integrates with
the sustainability office via governance structures and dotted line reporting.
Sustainability recruitment advertising
Sustainable recruitment also includes advertising your business for its sustainability initiatives.
If you’re working hard to improve your business, you want everyone to know about it so you can get
even more benefit out of your efforts. A sustainable recruiter’s job ads will target sustainable candidates
and be expertly created to appeal to these candidates.
A sustainable recruiter can also help you define your employer brand to appeal to sustainable
To do advertising correctly, make sure to check our post on recruitment marketing.
Why is Sustainability Recruitment Important?
Bad hires are expensive, costing an average of $17,000 on one employee. A bad hire affects productivity,
quality, morale, and time management, dragging down the business’ efficiency and productivity over a
Making poor choices in hiring is an unsustainable practice, wasting money you could be investing in
strategies to better your business.
All the sustainable goals in the world won’t make your business sustainable without commitment in all
aspects of the job, particularly hiring. Here’s an excellent description from Practice Greenhealth:
“It’s not enough to simply create a green team. Senior leaders need to embody the commitment to
sustainability in decisions made across the organization. This strategy has to be woven throughout the
recruitment process, orientation and onboarding, and ultimately the day-to-day work environment.”
“Human resources are essential to this process. It’s where the cultural tone of the organization is set at
the beginning of a new employee experience.”
“Engagement activities include a sustainability component in employee orientation: incentivized
sustainability-related events (Earth Day, recycling challenges, active transportation initiatives), an annual
award program recognizing champions of environmental stewardship, regular feedback on the hospital’s
performance on key sustainability measures, a Green Advocate and Sustainable Workspace Certification
program, and sustainability messaging on signs throughout their buildings.”
Weinreb pointed out quotes from two executives who discussed how important it is to
ensure alignment between a candidate’s values and your company’s values.
Mikael Ohlsson, CEO at IKEA, said, “We recruit based on our values and expect everyone to take
responsibility and learn on the job.”
Ellen Pekeles, senior vice president of operations of VanCity, stated, “We screen for skills and hire for fit
with our values and vision.”
Sustainability is also a powerful way to attract candidates, particularly Millennials and Gen Z. Today’s
workforce wants their daily work to better the world around them, so you need your business to
promise them that and deliver.
Weinreb touted the importance of sustainability in recruiting:
The most oft-overlooked value of a sustainability program may be the value of that program to its
employees. Beyond employee engagement, a company’s sustainability commitment is a draw to new
And she quoted Pepsi’s CEO, Indra Nooyi:
It is the most important and exciting factor. It’s unbelievable. Sometimes people are sitting on the fence,
a highly regarded person, and they agree to come to us for one reason.
They say, ‘We want to be part of the Performance with Purpose agenda,’ and that’s been the single
biggest recruiting tool we have in Pepsico today.
Weinreb added that many college recruiters say they “only bring their CSR reports to campus