"We have to bring this world back to sanity and put the greater good ahead of self-interest." - Paul Polman, Unilever

The concept of green HR practices is gaining traction in the corporate world, as leaders discover ways to foster sustainability within their organization. Adopting environment friendly HR practices as an organizational strategy can help increase competitive advantages in the present business scenario.

Also, the urgent need for a proactive solution to environmental management has become a global issue. Whether it is climate change or rising poverty and unemployment, the dispute over the effectiveness of critical human resource management principles drives us to probe the unification of the sustainable, environment, and HR practices.

It is an undeniable fact that companies can play a significant role in the fight to preventing global warming. With the support of senior management and employees, HRM can fulfill the organization's commitment to green practices.

Its function can become the driver of sustainability goals that ultimately contribute to organizational goals. It involves practicing eco-friendly HR initiatives that help achieve higher work efficiencies at lower costs and better employee engagement.

What is Green HR?

Green HR is a field of HR, extends its role in promoting and achieving sustainable goals within an organization. It uses the HRM policies to build a comprehensive system of preserving natural resources by creating employee awareness.

Green HRM practices play a vital role in a forward-thinking business that develops alternative ways to save cost without compromising on their talent & essential resources. It ranges from the promotion of saving energy to the usage of ethical practices. Its initiatives align various HR processes like staffing, performance management, training, and development with sustainable business.

The role of HR in sustainable business

The involvement of HRM in an organization's vision, effective governance, and future development is crucial. When it comes to managing sustainability with human resources, HR plays an essential role in an organization. Sometimes they have to consider ethical issues beyond economic performances when operating a new path of sustainable business.

HR can act as the moral compass of an organization. They can put forth various policies and practices that are viable for humans and nature. Achieving such a reformation can be daunting at times. But HRM can facilitate the conversation between top management and employees for a mutual collaboration of sustainable working practices.

The critical role of HR is to develop a sustainability map associating Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR), HR functions, and ethics. Organizing regular meetings with transparent communication styles, encouraging employees in brainstorming ideas, or using motivational theories are few ways to support and embed sustainability within organizations. These people-oriented skills help in developing the business not economically but socially along with the environment.

Ways to do green HR

  • Power save by tweaking the room temperature.

  • Use the latest power-saving appliances or alternative energy source

  • Save paper by using devices to note down.

  • Apply 3R’s rule(recycle, reuse, reduce)

  • Check every leaking water sources to save water.

  • Promote teleconferencing.

  • Mandate employees to meet a specific green score.

Impact of green HR practices in your organization

1. Higher productivity rate

At present-day, companies are trying to include greener approaches inside their organization. There are several pieces of research available that prove when employees indulged in green practices, be it food habits to volunteering, they are more focused than usual day.

It helps in gaining a positive impact and social outlook on employee relations in the organization. An employee feels responsible for preserving the environment apart from their functional contribution to the job. It contributes to developing holistic employee wellbeing.

2. Helps in saving your organization’s cost

Every organization has enormous growth potential when aligned with green initiatives. It involves eco-friendly initiatives that have the possibility of lowering carbon footprints in the environment. Employees who support and practice these initiatives are less likely to fall ill.

They will be more active at work, which reduces the rate of presenteeism or absenteeism. It helps save the organization's medical budget. Green HRm also helps in cutting down the cost without compromising their niche.

3. Elevated Brand Recognition

The Green HR practices help employers, manufacturers build brand image and create influence in the society. It also makes employees and society members aware of natural resources' usage, encouraging more economical and eco-friendly products. Conducting an environmental audit, upgrading the work culture, doing waste management, and serving society and its people that are getting affected by pollution are few ways that can help in creating brand recognition.

Whenever an organization implements a green initiative to its workplace, it can publicize the event to gain positive public relations. Promoting environmental contributions over social media can gain the attention of targeted customers and generate leads.

4. Increased Employee Retention

Following green HR practices can help in improving the employee retention rate. Some employees may take pride when their organization show concerns for the environment and society. It sends a positive image that the company cares about its employees, and help them connect better with organizational values apart from their benefits.

A 1997 Dolan's study observed that most of the graduates agree to work a minimum salary when organizations are involved in environmental causes. As the Generation Z prepares for a job, they will approach awareness of sustainability in the new workplace. Accordingly, companies are trying best to apply sustainable practices for attracting quality candidates.

5. Improved Employee Morale

Apart from promoting physical fitness, nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle among employees and society, wellness programs can include environment and sustainability factors to create awareness. Green HRM uses the policies to boost the judicious use of resources that promotes the cause of environmentalism, which further boosts employee morale and satisfaction.

Conclusion

Green HR practices can achieve higher efficiency through electronic filing, car sharing, job sharing, teleconferencing, and virtual interviews, recycling, , online recruitment and training, energy-efficient office spaces. Conducting regular meetings to discuss the development of strategic green HR capability creates awareness among employees. It must be well-aligned with the organization's overall strategy, which for higher employee commitment and organizational performance.

Now I would like to know from you

What are the green initiatives have you followed for your organization?

Let me know in the comment section below.

This article is written by Rangana Atreya, a Content Marketer at Vantage Circle. Having a creative mind with a spiritful life, she takes inspiration from travelling and learning languages. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com