Why Employees Want to Work for Sustainable Companies

Last updated: May, 2023

Why Employees Want to Work for Sustainable Companies

The role of values and purpose is changing the job market as more employees want to work for sustainable companies. 

There is a growing number of professionals (led by Gen Z and Millennials) prioritizing employers who have a genuine commitment to sustainability and can help them directly contribute to social and environmental issues.

70% of employees and job seekers feel a sustainability program makes an employer more attractive, and 44% of executives acknowledge it’s a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent.

But why?

Let’s take a look at why employees want to work for sustainable companies and what can be done to enhance sustainability in the workplace.

Why Employees Want to Work for Sustainable Companies

The allure of employees and sustainability can be attributed to several compelling reasons:

1. Alignment of Personal and Organizational Values 

Employees seek companies where they can see a direct correlation between their values and their employer’s actions. 

Sustainability helps bridge this gap, providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment beyond day-to-day tasks.

The synergy between personal values and organizational goals encourages a deeper commitment to the company’s mission, creating a positive work environment where employees are more engaged, motivated, and proactive.

In a recent WeSpire survey, Gen Z has become the first generation to prioritize the purpose of their work over salary, and 77% of Gen Z believe it’s important to work at companies with similar values.

As the younger generation enters the workforce, companies with a clear commitment to sustainability are more likely to attract and retain top talent who want to make a difference through their work.

2. Positive Impact on Employee Well-Being 

Working for a company that prioritizes sustainability has a positive knock-on effect on employees’ well-being.

It’s the power of purpose.

According to a study by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV),  74% of employees felt more fulfilled when they had an opportunity to positively impact the world.

That’s not all.

It also helps alleviate eco-anxiety:

“An extreme fear of environmental doom, caused by watching the slow and irreversible impact of climate change.”

Force of Nature also reports that 70% of young people feel hopeless about climate change. 

Your company can help alleviate these feelings by adopting sustainable practices while increasing employee satisfaction.

  • Green office designs can improve employees’ cognitive functioning by 26% and reduce absenteeism by 30%.
  • 93% of people feel happier working in an environmentally friendly office.
  • 70% would be loyal to a company that helps them contribute to sustainability issues.

RELATED: Steal These 4 Excellent Sustainability in the Workplace Examples
Sustainability helps give purpose and meaning to a job.

3. Increased Retention and Productivity 


Employees want to work for sustainable companies so much that it directly correlates to higher retention and productivity levels. 

A Deloitte study found that 72% of employees with leading sustainability programs rarely think about looking for another job, and 79% plan to stay in their roles for the next couple of years.

The reason?

Sustainability helps give purpose and meaning to a job. It encourages employees to stay because there is an alignment of values and a higher sense of satisfaction.

All of this works together to create an environment that fosters employee engagement and directly contributes to a more motivated, efficient, and productive workforce.


RELATED: Sustainability in the Workplace: 5 Ways to Influence a Sustainable Behaviour Change


What Can Be Done to Enhance Sustainability in the Workplace?


Transitioning to a more sustainable business model is a strategic move to attract top talent and reduce your environmental impact. 

Here are key steps to enhancing sustainability in the workplace.


1. Create a Net-Zero Emission Strategy 


The first step in creating a net-zero emissions strategy is to assess your current carbon footprint using a business carbon calculator.

Once you know your biggest emission culprits, you can set measurable targets to decrease your environmental impact and offset any remaining emissions through credible carbon offset projects.


RELATED: How to Make Your Company Carbon Neutral: A Step-By-Step Guide


2. Make Your Sustainability Goals Visible 


Making your sustainability goals visible is about more than just announcing intentions. It’s about embedding transparency and accountability into your corporate identity. 

It involves regularly communicating your progress and achievements through various channels like your website, social media, and internal communications.

This visibility helps you build trust with your employees, drive behavioral change, and encourage a culture of sustainability.

There’s more. Your employees expect it.

57% of employees say they need more information on their company’s environmental goals.

An employee engagement platform like Emission Sentri can help you automatically amplify your sustainability commitments. 

Collecting your emission data from various sources, it delivers progress reports across your digital eco-system, from Microsoft Teams to monthly reports, maximizing reach and engagement. 


RELATED: Engaging Employees in Sustainability: 6 Strategies You Need to Know


3. Upskill Your Employees to Tap into Their Desire to Engage 


Empowering your workforce with the knowledge and skills to contribute to your sustainability goals does three things.

  1. It increases employee engagement and satisfaction.
  2. It speeds up your progress to achieve net-zero emissions.
  3. It creates more environmentally aware people.


By providing training opportunities, you’re tapping into the desire to positively impact social and environmental issues.

According to the 2020 Unily study, 63% of employees would like to learn more green skills, and 46% said they need more specific training on environmental goals.

Emission Sentri offers employees on-demand awareness training and certifications. The platform provides access to specialized training modules focused on emissions reduction and sustainability practices and offers personalized AI recommendations. 

The feature educates employees on how they can contribute to the organization’s emissions reduction plan via individual monthly emails and progress reports. 


RELATED: The Best Employee Engagement Solutions


Employees and Sustainability: How to Thrive in the Eco-Conscious Era


The call for sustainable practices in the workplace is louder than ever, with 83% of workers believing their company is not doing enough to fight climate change.

As the demand for meaningful work continues to rise, companies have a unique opportunity to attract and retain talent by aligning their operations with the values of their employees. 

Emission Sentri can help empower your employees to achieve your net-zero goals while educating and bringing awareness to your sustainability goals.

By adopting a comprehensive approach, you can meet and exceed your ESG targets while creating a more motivated, satisfied, and productive workforce.

Drive Emissions Reduction through Employee Engagement

Engage with your employees on your emissions reduction commitment and progress through multi-channel insights, awareness training, intelligent recommendations using Generative AI and more.