We have all heard of those terrible events that the world’s scientists predict, if we are not able to change our unsustainable way of life. We also know some of the ways to anticipate these events, through actions and improvement plans that enable us to cope with the different scenarios we may face. Many companies are already working on this, but much remains to be done.

One of the most frequent questions we often face is: Should all sectors take into account the different effects of climate change on their businesses, customers, employees and shareholders? Sustainability strategy has crept into the human resources departments of companies, the actions of customers and even the way shareholders invest. In another article, we talked about the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, a challenge that many companies have already taken up.

Sustainability takes a three-pronged approach that is reflected in the well-known ESG acronym: environmental, social and corporate governance. Waste management, energy efficiency, circular economy or greenhouse gases are some of the scenarios that companies face, beyond issues related to politics or human rights. 

Undoubtedly, all company departments have a responsibility in the challenge of sustainability, but in the case of human resources, they must apply it as the main agent of interest. We are in the midst of a digital and energy transformation. Many companies are already late to this transformation, but they cannot be left behind with sustainable development goals. Developing an ethical and sustainable culture and leadership model has become an essential part of business strategy. HR departments must drive issues and actions related to diversity and inclusion, agility and innovation, professional reskilling and working models. This is what will allow the company to grow sustainably and exponentially.

HR is the perfect partner to deliver the business strategy and drive sustainable change in the project and the workforce, as well as being involved in all pillars of the organisation. Green Human Resource Management, a set of HR policies and practices to incentivise green behaviour, is beginning to be discussed.

HR will be responsible for catalysing companies’ commitment to sustainability, as well as driving values, leadership, culture, long-term vision and organisational structure. This will be achieved through talent attraction and retention, organisation, development, leadership and employee experience. The big challenge for HR will be to move companies through the phases of engagement (buy-in), integration (implementation), and positive impact (contribution).