Does your company have an environmental policy? Most employees don’t know

Sixty-four percent of European businesses have a sustainability policy, but only one-third of employees know about their impact on the environment. One in five also admitted that they actually did not know whether their company had a sustainability policy at all. These are the findings of a new hires survey by Treedom, the world’s first digital platform for growing and gifting trees online. The survey is part of a campaign that Treedom runs in six European countries between Earth Day and World Environment Day. The goal is to grow 20,000 trees in a special forest with the help of the Treedom Community.

A survey of 7,000 workers across Europe* found that while business decision makers understand the need to implement sustainability policies and communicate with key stakeholders, employees are less aware of what action is actually being taken – less than a third of employees are aware of their company policies . But there is a clear desire to know more as 64% want to learn about policy, rising to 70% among Gen-Z.

The importance of ensuring the workforce has an understanding of the policy is critical from a recruitment and retention perspective. 67% of employees agree that sustainability is an important factor when choosing a job role to apply for, especially Italians with 86% saying it influences their decision making.

So, what are the key sustainability drivers for employees when choosing a company to work for?

  1. Employees want to be proud of the company they work for (29%)
  2. Ensuring the planet is protected for future generations (29%)
  3. Have a positive impact on the environment (24%)

Which industry is the most sustainable-minded?
In an age where consumers are looking to governments to take the lead in achieving net zero goals, it is surprising to note that one in three of those working within government are not aware of their sustainability policies, and 37% do not find them important. know, according to Treedom research. Similarly, those who work in education, helping to nurture future minds also do not ‘know’ about the sustainability of their own companies. With more than a third of education workers (38%) admitting to not realizing what their company is doing to ensure a better future for our planet and future generations.

However, for those who work in marketing, 81% agree how important green initiatives are to businesses and three quarters of these workers accelerate their own company policies. This inherent knowledge of sustainability is clearly a need for external communication, as industry professionals know its positive impact not only on company perceptions, but also employee satisfaction.

What do employees want to see in a sustainable business policy?
For Europeans, the top three sustainability initiatives they would like employers to consider include:

  • Prevent and reduce environmental impact (51%)
  • Ensuring constant improvement (38%)
  • Social impact – giving back to society (28%)

Ultimately, a policy needs to demonstrate positive impact by being able to clearly communicate to workers clear goals, actions and outcomes. While 72% agree that the current plan is having a positive impact, however, there is still some uncertainty with a quarter of Dutch, German and British workers unsure whether any of the measures will have a positive or negative effect.

Federico Garcea, Founder and CEO of Treedom said, “There is a gap in knowledge and understanding between the decision makers who make sustainability policies and those who run the business. To achieve sustainability goals, businesses cannot work in silos, they must be lived and exhaled from the inside out. Employees need to be involved in the sustainability journey to make a lasting positive impact as well as remain competitive as a business by attracting the best talent.

“Through the seemingly simple act of planting trees and supporting communities socio-economically by doing so, businesses can communicate with staff in an easy-to-understand and tangible way, which brings the act of sustainable living closer to home and has a holistic impact not only on the planet. , but people too.”

The need for business-wide education forms the basis of Treedom’s Europe-wide Earth Day campaign, ‘We plant trees’, in which Treedom ‘grows’ three larger-than-life green tree murals in major city buildings in London, Berlin and Milan . The first phase of painting begins on Earth Day on April 22 and will be completed on May 6, one month before World Environment Day in June. Treedom hopes this life-size piece of art will spark inspiration, curiosity, awareness and initiate climate action, highlighting the important role trees play in this.

It is Treedom’s goal to grow 20,000 trees in a special digital forest between Earth Day and World Environment Day. Visitors to the mural will be able to scan a QR code and be taken directly to the Treedom campaign landing page where they can find out more about the initiative. They will also have the opportunity to choose to invest in growing one of six specially selected trees in one of 17 Treedom projects worldwide and receive access to an online tree diary to track the impact of the project.

*The survey was conducted by Opinium, with a total of 7,000 respondents in the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and France.

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