Rising pressure to reverse the climate crisis is being felt by organisations across the globe. For one, employees expect their organisations to be working towards making a positive impact – Cornerstone’s 2023 People and Workplace Trends Report revealed that employee demand for corporate responsibility and workplace sustainability learning content increased by 100% from 2021 to 2022, for instance. As such, there is clear appetite for sustainability-focused learning strategies. Additionally, many employees would even consider quitting their jobs if they felt their organisation’s ESG commitments were lacking – a trend known as “climate quitting”.
On top of this, there are global standards to meet. For instance, the UN has 17 sustainable development goals – internationally recognised goals towards building a sustainable future. These include gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and climate action. There is also a new EU directive to contend with, the goal of which is ultimately to increase transparency around the impact of companies on people and the environment, promoting a culture of honesty when it comes to ESG goals.
Having the goal to work towards these goals will be key in helping organisations become more sustainable. However, many companies might not know where to start.
Cornerstone’s sustainability learning content
Cornerstone’s sustainability content subscription is succinctly broken down into key areas that align with the UN’s goals – internationally recognised goals towards building a sustainable future. The first topic of Cornerstone’s content is on environmental practices, such as affordable and clean energy, responsible production, and consumption. The second topic covers social concerns, like wellbeing and gender equality. The third focuses on governance responsibilities, such as economic growth and innovation.
As such, companies using Cornerstone’s sustainability content can be sure they are covering critical ESG topics that tie into the UN goals. With Cornerstone’s learning content, organisations will be able to track their progress in these areas against the UN’s goals. The Cornerstone platform will also enable companies to unearth which ESG-related learning areas have high engagement, and which need more take-up to meet enough of the UN goals.
Regulations in the EU and UK
There is also pressure in the EU more specifically. On 5 January 2023, the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) came into force. This new directive makes it mandatory for companies to audit the sustainability information they report on. When it comes to training and skills development in this area, for instance, organisations need to give information on the proportion and breakdown of workers receiving training. Affected companies will have to publish information related to environmental matters, social matters, treatment of employees, and more.
Additionally, the UK is considering adopting new regulations to combat corporate greenwashing practises. The proposed rules would require companies to disclose their environmental impact, including their Scope 3 emissions – encompassing the products or services they offer. The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which established these regulations, anticipate that companies could incorporate the requirements into their annual financial reporting.
Harnessing the Cornerstone platform
In both instances, company’s reporting is clearly going to be pivotal. Here, again, Cornerstone offers value. With the Cornerstone platform, these companies will be able to quickly and easily analyse data to understand key information, such as – which employees are actively using the content and which are neglecting it, what content is most popular, and which courses are underutilised. This will allow organisations to easily pull data to meet CSRD reporting requirements and any future UK regulations.
The data can also be used to build a robust ESG learning content strategy, giving learning leaders key insights into where more focus needs to be applied to improve sustainability skills across the organisation.
The impact on employees
But the positive impact goes even further beyond reporting and strategy. Sustainability intersects with other workplace trends, such as employee wellbeing. Environmental concerns have a direct link to climate anxiety and depression – as a result, more than 93% of employees have said that acting on the climate crisis at work is important to their wellbeing.
Reversing our environmental impact – and encouraging better employee wellbeing – is a long-term investment. Small changes create quick wins, but organisations must focus on the bigger picture, too. Sustainability learning content encourages discussion around climate anxiety between employees and employers and helps inspire a more optimistic outlook.
However, companies must consider transparency in their motives behind implementing sustainability initiatives. Employees are aware that commercial objectives are factored into business decisions, but it must go beyond ticking off an ESG box. Workers want their employers to lead by example.
A greener future for all
Taking this approach signals that a business is mindful of its environmental impact, and is serious about reducing it. Educational resources are easily implementable, and are a great way to encourage corporate mindfulness and inspire eco-friendly choices on an executive scale.
Businesses should also be keeping a finger on the pulse of ever-changing ESG laws; investing in sustainability focused learning content will ensure that they are actively listening to, and complying with, new and updated regulations. By taking action to reverse the climate crisis, businesses are ensuring that the hard work isn’t left to the employees – after all, we’re all in this together.
If you want to know more, visit Cornerstone’s sustainability learning content.
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