Only 21 percent of employees consider their current employers to be sustainable, which could translate to a major flight risk.

However, this is concerning due to 67 percent saying they are more willing to apply for jobs from organisations they consider to be environmentally sustainable.

Also, roughly one in three of those surveyed who changed jobs in the last year say they accepted a lower salary to work for sustainable or socially responsible organizations. On average, they took an average pay cut of 28 percent.

This is according to a new IBM Institute for Business Value study.

So, is being environmentally sustainable a key employee retainment strategy?


Employers need to take action


With such a small number of employees considering their currently employers to be sustainable, and such a large number of employees willing to take a paycut to work for a more sustainable company, there is a major flight risk.

With the current skills shortage and The Great Resignation, employers should be extra diligent about this issue.


Global Lead, IBM Consulting Sustainability Services, Sheri Hinish:


“Consumer respondents have signalled they’re willing to commit personal resources and give up conveniences to protect the planet, and we’re finally seeing their aspirations and actions merge.”

“But they need businesses to help break down the persistent barriers that are impeding them from making the most sustainable choices possible.”


How important is sustainability to workers?


More than half (51%) of respondents say environmental sustainability is more important to them today than it was 12 months ago, says the research.

Perhaps sustainability should be a priority for HR professionals, sitting at the top alongside D&I and wellbeing initiatives.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.