Job Responsibilities

job responsibilitiesFor sustainability to be embedded in the culture of the organisation, it can’t just be the job of the environment or sustainability team. Everybody needs to know where sustainability fits into their job, and how they contribute to meeting the sustainability goals of the organisation. Adding sustainability to formal job responsibilities and performance requirements is a powerful, and often overlooked, driver of sustainability engagement in organisations.

Research on this enabler…

  • A study of industrial firms found that teams with high employee involvement and focus on environmental goals contributed strongly to their organisation’s environmental outcomes.
  • Karen Chinander reviews research into the importance of aligning employee accountabilities with the organisation’s environmental goals and concludes that such internal drivers play a crucial role in environmental performance.
  • An analysis of several New Zealand plastics companies found that “all seven companies considered
    deployment of staff as an integral part of their environmental management practices. Four respondents mentioned full employee involvement as impacting on resource efficiency”.
  • A Dutch analysis reviews and highlights the need for “stabilization of the environmental work into routines and structures”.

Strategies for improving this enabler…

job resp image

  • Liaise with the HR team about including a sustainability component to all position descriptions
  • Map every job in the organisation in terms of what contribution it can make to the sustainability goals of the organisation and communicate that to employees – or better still, involve them in it
  • Include sustainability in performance development plans and reviews
  • Recognise the contribution of green team members by formally including their contribution as part of their overall job description

Best Practice Examples…

  • Power and automation technology giant ABB “has a comprehensive set of Group-wide sustainability objectives, covering our value chain, driven by our business and functions, and backed by individual targets and KPIs”
  • Otto Group is another multi-national that recognises the importance of sustainability across its entire operations and sets KPI’s and targets for every aspect of the business

How Awake can help…

  • The Sustainability Culture Indicator includes questions about the extent to which people feel that sustainability is part of their job requirements – the results can inform you as to whether this needs to be addressed
  • With strong foundations in organisational psychology, Awake can support you to develop KPI’s and sustainability components for position descriptions

Other useful resources…