Yesterday I enjoyed breath taking views as I travelled from Edinburgh to Inverness and later walked in the evening sun around the Ness Islands. It gave me time to reflect and think – and, in amongst that beautiful landscape, put into perspective HR magazine’s latest article on HR’s role in the green agenda.

Now more than ever, climate change is an issue that should be on the agenda of every business.

Sustainability is now a worldwide issue, and firms are increasingly becoming conscious about the effect of environmental issues on their competitiveness and long-term success. HR magazine’s article this week “Tackling our climate emergency: HR’s role” shows conflicting views on the function’s role in leading or contributing to successful environmental management.

Ultimately we all have a role to play in the green agenda and HR have key perspectives and rich opportunity to drive green cultures, recognise green behaviours and motivate our people to engage with environmental protection initiatives. Green recruitment, green engagement, green learning & development and green rewards provide HR with a tangible profession specific role in this important area.


Representing green behaviours and beliefs into competency frameworks and company values would be a new way to direct our people on expectations in this area. It offers an opportunity to measure or explore in recruitment processes how much candidates are green-minded. Demonstrating a green commitment as part of employer branding will also draw in more environmentally conscious colleagues.

Learning & Development

Green learning and development provides an opportunity for employers to raise everyone’s understanding of how they can do their part. Training could provide guidance on environmental protection activities both in the office and at home – and the journey in between. Even simple reminders of office recycling, travelling differently or remembering to turn off screens at the end of the night will make a difference. Incorporating this in to inductions with periodic online training refreshers would be a positive way to start it. Setting green objectives in appraisals would stretch this opportunity even further.

Green Engagement Groups

Green engagement groups are something I have seen work at a previous employer. These are made up of passionate volunteers from around the business who come together as a group of green ambassadors to drive improvements to environmental management and protection. Not only is this a positive way to empower your people in driving change it’s also very powerful in creating a sense of momentum.

Green Rewards

Green rewards and ‘earth-friendly perks’ are becoming increasingly popular also – though more could be done in this area. Cycle to work schemes, green commute initiatives, gift vouchers for green household items or time off to take part in social responsible activity are some examples and we may see more creative ideas emerging over the coming years.

For a more detailed review of HR’s role in tackling climate change please read the article below. Until then, here’s a photo from Inverness’s Ness Islands to inspire you to play your part.