Avoiding unnecessary climate change corporate conflicthttps://energymanagementsummit.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/DavePage1.jpg 960 640 Guest Post Guest Post https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/cb2a67f15cd7d053d8e638a1df3fd67f?s=96&d=mm&r=g
The fight to prevent climate catastrophe has led enterprises across the globe to continuously navigate new policies, standards, laws, and regulations that are driving significant business change. Yet conflicting strategies continue to undermine progress. One of the fastest and most effective ways to reduce scope 3 carbon emissions is to minimise employee commutes and eradicate business travel – but this can only be achieved if companies provide a truly effective and engaging digital workplace experience for every single employee, insists Dave Page (pictured), Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Actual Experience…
The continued siloed nature of corporations globally is undermining essential progress in achieving vital change to support climate change goals. Why are so many businesses, for example, pushing employees to come back into the office at least three days each week when that is totally at odds with the need to reduce carbon emissions? Why are companies advocating more face-to-face meetings – often overseas – and attendances at conferences when this escalation in business travel contributes so heavily to a company’s carbon toll?
Add in the carbon emissions associated with offices, including cooling, heating and lighting, and Working from Home (WfH) offers tangible opportunities to reduce the business’ energy consumption – even if it is only by mothballing certain unused areas or floors within a building.
Both investment and reputation hinge increasingly on not only pledges to minimise carbon emissions, but tangible proof of progress toward the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and regulatory plans to enhance and standardise climate related disclosures for investors. So why are so many businesses still failing to grasp the value of an effective digital working environment to its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy?
Embrace Cultural Change
What is even more confusing is that employees are already on board with this shift in working experience. Individuals may have their own reasons for preferring WfH to the commute or a collaborative video call to the flight to New York, but this is a corporate win: win. There is no need to compel employees to change behaviour in order to achieve a reduction in scope 3 emissions – they have already embraced the Future of Work. Plus, a business able to demonstrate the additional carbon reduction value of this strategy can win serious employee plaudits, especially across a younger generation driven by environmental values.
Rather than fight against the tide, companies should be prioritising the delivery of a high quality digital human experience that accelerates this changing behaviour. And that means investing in a digital workplace that enables every employee to work effectively remotely. It means ensuring the quality of the experience is so powerful, so compelling that employees can confidently replace face-to-face meetings with key overseas clients with a virtual interaction. It means rapidly identifying the experience of each individual to ensure every single employee is consistently engaged and productive.
And that means understanding each employee’s unique individual experience, in detail and continuously, and using that insight to firstly reveal and address any areas of digital inequality and then build on the quality of experience to create an even more compelling digital workplace experience.
A truly effective digital workplace will drive cultural change. It will enable employees to prove the value of remote working to management and, critically, it will provide the ESG team with tangible measures of carbon reduction. With complete insight into employee location, it is simple to track activity and demonstrate change. How often are employees commuting into an office or remote working hub? Are they travelling abroad? Using standard carbon emission numbers associated with commuting and business travel, a company can quickly assess the current situation, measure the impact of digital experience enhancements on employee behaviour and demonstrate improvements year on year.
The carbon emissions associated with individuals commuting daily, compared to those primarily based at home are significant – and the reduction in scope 3 emissions that can be achieved when employees are empowered to make the most of a digital workplace are compelling. So, when will companies recognise the importance of embedding ESG strategic thinking into every aspect of business decision making?