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ESG Reporting: What are the Environmental Factors?

We take a look at the environmental elements of ESG reporting and why, even as a recruitment company, this should not be ignored.

Marie
11/11/2022

Climate change has moved from a fringe issue to a keystone of today’s business models. For recruitment companies, there may be a misconception that combatting climate change is reserved for industries that have a large environmental footprint like logistics, agriculture and the energy sector. However, companies in every sector should strive to be more environmentally friendly and this should be incorporated into their ESG strategy and reporting.

Whilst being green can greatly improve a company’s reputation, talking about being green without taking action can lead to ‘greenwashing’ accusations. Therefore, in the second of this five-part ESG series, we’re going to go into more detail on what’s covered by the environmental heading within ESG and what recruitment companies can do to be more environmentally friendly.

Why and how can recruitment companies be more green?

As a recruitment company, you may already have a relatively low impact on the environment (especially when compared to the aforementioned industries). However, you will still have a carbon footprint and having policies in place to reduce can help your business to:

  • Be a more attractive place to work.
  • Be more attractive to lend money to/invest in.
  • Win and retain more business.
  • Have a better reputation in your industry and community.
  • Increase your business value.

A few things you could consider are:

  • Reduce travel and unnecessary face-to-face meetings – after the pandemic, many of us missed in-person interaction, but asking questions such as ‘can this meeting be remote?’ will help reduce unnecessary travel. Where you can, offering (or continuing to offer) remote working arrangements will also reduce employee travel.

  • Encourage green commuting – where you need people in the office, encouraging employees to use greener methods of transport like carpooling schemes or by cycling to work (see the cycle to work scheme).

  • Invest in newer equipment – many will choose to upgrade their appliances such as computer equipment with a view to increasing the efficiency of their workforce. However, newer appliances are quite often more energy efficient too so it may be time to upgrade laptops, look at LED lighting or ditch that rickety office heater!

  • Limit your electricity usage to working hours – another simple way to reduce energy consumption is to simply have a power down policy once employees have finished working.

  • Reduce your printer usage – old habits can sometimes be hard to shake but ditching paper is an easy way to reduce your waste (and often digital processes can be more automated and time-efficient). If you still need to use paper, this leads to our next point…

  • Recycle – ensure that if you have an office, there are ways for your staff to easily recycle and that you actively encourage recycling.

  • Audit your supply chain – it’s not just about your business being green, it’s also about ensuring those that you work with are also committed to being more green, sustainable and working in an ESG-friendly manner.

However, each company is different so we would encourage you to review your policies and processes to see if there are greener alternatives. None of these suggestions are ground-breaking, but the collective impact on the environment if all companies focused on them could be significant.

Read our next article…

When people think of ESG, they’ll often think of the environmental factors that we have discussed in this article. However, there’s far more to ESG than this and in our third article of this series, we’ll take a look at the social element of ESG reporting.

Need advice?

If you own a recruitment business and are seeking support about ESG reporting, call our friendly team of business experts on 0845 606 9632 or email hello@recruitmentaccountants.com.

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