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What are the top 7 secrets for climate engagement in SMBs?

by CO2HERO on

Small-medium businesses are an essential part of our current economy. Just as digital technology is helping SMBs transform how they sell to and engage with customers, it can also play an important part in enabling their climate-focused transformation. In this week’s edition of The Sustainable Breakfast, we will explore the need for SMBs to engage employees in their sustainable actions - and stay tuned for a free handbook on how to do it.

The whole economy needs to act

 

It's undeniable that while the giants play a massive role, every entity, big or small, has a part in the climate narrative. Farsan from Science-Based Targets claims that “much of public and regulatory pressure is being exerted on the world’s largest emitters - who are, after all, the most responsible for driving climate change. However, halting the climate crisis will require action from every individual and enterprise”. This comprehensive insight by Farsan sheds light on the all-encompassing nature of this crisis.

Given that around half of the global workforce is employed by SMBs their responsibility in combating climate change is undisputable. SMBs have a role to play in the climate crisis, and if you’re looking for guidance on how to amplify your efforts further we’re right here to provide you guidance!

Climate employee engagement is a big possible cost-saver

Implementing energy-efficient technologies and sustainable practices can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. For example, reducing energy consumption and waste can lower utility bills and operational expenses. Combining this approach with active employee climate engagement creates an opportunity to save resources even further. Your employees are an invaluable resource, and with the right tools to engage & train them, they’re your #1 cost-saver.

Recognizing and nurturing their insights can pave the way for both environmental and economic benefits.

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What are the competitive advantages for consumer-facing companies?

 

Your consumers are growing increasingly conscious of environmental issues, and many prefer to support businesses that are environmentally responsible. According to a study from The Round Up, 78% of consumers feel that sustainability is important. 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly brands and 84% of consumers say that poor environmental practices will alienate them from a brand or a company.

 

Climate engagement helps SMBs differentiate themselves from competitors, and attract likely-minded consumers and employees alike. Moreover, some markets and industries prioritize sustainable products and services. Climate engagement can open up opportunities to enter these markets, and expand a business customer base.

Climate engagement opens up doors to investment opportunities

 

According to our previous ESG research, many investors, including institutional investors, are increasingly considering ESG factors when making investment decisions. SMBs that actively engage in climate initiatives and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability may find it easier to attract investment capital.

Moreover, companies with strong ESG performance may be eligible for favorable loan terms, lower interest rates, or access to green financing options. This can lead to reduced borrowing costs for SMBs, improving their financial stability. SMBs with a clear climate engagement strategy are more likely to attract investors who prioritize sustainability and are aligned with the company's values and goals.

What are the barriers to employee climate engagement?

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Despite the outlined advantages of climate employee engagement in sustainability, many SMBs encounter obstacles when trying to adopt sustainable practices. Commonly, these challenges stem from insufficient resources, inadequate incentives for employees to emphasize sustainability in their daily operations, and limited training.

 

  1. Lack of resources as the number one barrier to sustainable employee engagement:


There is a possibility that SMEs do not have the financial means to invest in sustainable technologies or train employees on sustainability-related topics. Moreover, they may lack the infrastructure required to support sustainable practices, such as energy-efficient lighting and waste-reduction systems. This can make it challenging for workers to prioritize sustainability in their daily work.

  1. Deficit of incentives for employees to prioritize sustainability in their daily work:

Employees may not be aware of the immediate benefits of sustainable practices or how their work can contribute to a more sustainable future. To overcome this obstacle, SMEs can create incentives for employees to prioritize sustainability in their work, such as recognition programs, performance metrics, and monetary incentives. SMBs can also convey the significance of sustainability to their employees and involve them in the development of sustainability goals and initiatives.

  1. Cultural views & training:

Cultural barriers can hinder employee engagement in sustainability. Employees might not view sustainability as a priority or may not comprehend the significance of sustainable practices. To overcome this, we recommend that SMBs establish a culture of sustainability by communicating the significance of sustainability. SMBs can recognize and reward employees to promote their commitment to sustainable practices.

Strategies for employee engagement in sustainability in SMBs


To overcome these above-mentioned barriers, SMBs can implement a variety of strategies. Below we share with you how we at CO2HERO advise you to take charge of your climate employee engagement - step by step:

 

  1. Develop a sustainability plan that outlines sustainability goals and initiatives to communicate the importance of sustainability to employees and ensure that it is integrated into the company's operations 
  2. Provide sustainability training to employees to increase their knowledge and awareness of sustainability issues. This can include training on energy efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable supply chain management.
  3. Involve employees in the development and implementation of sustainability initiatives to build a culture of sustainability in the workplace and increase employee engagement in sustainability.
  4. Recognizing and rewarding employees who demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices. This can include performance metrics, financial incentives, and recognition programs.
  5. Engage in regular communications and company-wide meetings to raise awareness of sustainability issues and build a culture of sustainability in the workplace.
  6. Establish sustainability committees that are responsible for developing and implementing sustainability initiatives. These committees can include employees from various departments and can help to ensure that sustainability is integrated into the company's operations.
  7. Conduct regular sustainability assessments to evaluate the company's progress toward sustainability goals and identify areas for improvement. This can help to ensure that sustainability remains a priority in the company's operations.

Boosting climate engagement is more than just a strategy—it's an organizational transformation. Understanding this can drastically elevate your company's standing and overall impact. Curious about the tangible benefits such engagement brings? Dive deeper by exploring our previous blog post on prioritizing climate engagement. The insights await!

Start engaging your employees with CO2HERO

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Our blog sheds light on the immense potential SMBs have in the realm of sustainability. But how do you transition into this sustainable future seamlessly? CO2HERO is designed to help you achieve that, by gamifying sustainability and making it fun for your employees.

CO2HERO, you can ensure your business is at the forefront. Ready to make this leap? Book a demo to learn how to engage your employees.