Zest release latest sustainability findings

Businesses must shift the dial on sustainability initiatives to attract and retain Britain’s brightest talent

Another Earth Day has passed, and countless companies will have posted well-meaning platitudes across social media and other corporate channels.

But the fact remains that talk needs to be supported by action when it comes to sustainability – especially if Britain’s businesses hope to retain their brightest talent. It’s been a tough few years for businesses as well as consumers and the reality is that many companies – often not by choice – have been forced to put these initiatives on hold.

Our latest research highlights that half (51%) of employees now want their employer to step up efforts and invest more in sustainability, this figure rises to 61% for younger workers aged 18-34.

And despite over half of businesses seeing a shift in the number of employees who care more about sustainability, a third (33%) of younger workers believe that their employers simply do not care about the issue.

Fixing a damaging disconnect

Moreover, our research reveals the rather worrying impact of this disconnect.

Two in five (42%) employees aged 18-34 believe that poor sustainability initiatives have a detrimental impact on their morale at work. This not only leaves existing employees demotivated it also puts businesses at real risk of missing out on new talent.

With the next generation increasingly populating the UK’s workforce, many of whom are naturally engaged in sustainability initiatives to safeguard their future, businesses need to adapt now and demonstrate their sustainability credentials.

Shifting to sustainability

While many may start by focussing on mitigating emissions, a key area that is often overlooked by businesses when it comes to sustainable initiatives is benefits packages.

Over half (53%) of UK employees would like to see their company investing in more sustainable benefits, such as electric vehicle schemes or sustainable pension funds, this number rising to 66% for 18-34 year olds.

And this shift is not going unnoticed by employers. More than four in ten (44%) businesses report an increase in the number of employees asking for sustainable benefits.

Personalising benefits through technology

However, less than a third (29%) of employees think their company’s current benefits platform supports their individual needs and two in five (39%) want their employer to invest more in their benefits platform to increase accessibility.

Integrating employee benefits technology can help businesses to enable greater personalisation and flexibility of benefits – including more sustainable options.

Using data and insights derived from benefits platforms like Zest, means employers can also send targeted communications to employees to accommodate changing demands while ensuring that the right benefits reach the right employees at the right time.

Not only will this help to better meet the sustainability demands of employees and boost a company’s ability to attract and retain talent, but crucially it will support the UK’s broader journey to net zero.

Matt Russell, CEO, Zest

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