Kavitha’s keynote: Employers can protect the planet

As this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) continues, now seems like as good a time as any for employers to look at the role they can play in protecting our planet.

In recent years, a growing number of industries and businesses have been pledging to reduce their effect on the environment in response to heightened employee demands. Many people are now actively choosing to work for organisations that are taking positive action in this area and that they feel are aligned with their core values.

Therefore, although it may seem like a daunting task, organisations should consider reducing their environmental impact. There are several ways they can do this through their benefits and reward packages, for example, by offering green pension schemes. They can also raise awareness among the workforce and encourage eco-friendly ways of working. Green travel initiatives can help too.

Earlier this week, we reported that global firm Stephenson Harwood is offering 550 of its UK employees electric cars, with a view to extending the initiative in the future.

The company explained it was looking for a way to get everyone involved because in the past, “many of the steps law firms have taken on the environment have been either invisible to staff”. It added that any money from its national insurance contributions will be used for other green schemes, and other organisations are also recognising the importance of such initiatives.

In other news, research from Willis Towers Watson’s 2021 Car benefits survey report showed that introducing more environmentally friendly cars is top of the list of car benefit changes in the next 12 months for four in 10 (43%) UK employers – up from 33% in 2020. In addition, a further 40% are planning to do this by varying the make and models of cars allocated.

Of course, green travel schemes on their own aren’t enough, but by ensuring benefits and rewards support the planet as well as its people, employers can do their bit for the environment.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
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