Future of work is 'green'

8th September 2014

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  • Employee engagement ,
  • Natural resources ,
  • Business & Industry ,
  • Engagement



The need to use resources more smartly and efficiently, and the disillusion that followed the financial meltdown as well as public anger over some corporations' environmental, social and tax policies is forcing ever more companies to question the very nature and purpose of their business, says PwC in a new report on the future of work.

The report sets out three “colour” visions for work as companies seek to respond to this crisis. The “blue” world consists of big, global companies, which are driven by profit, growth and market leadership.

By contrast, small firms inhabit an “orange” world. They are flexible, minimising costs by hiring people and space on an ad hoc basis.

In between these two extremes are the firms that occupy a “green” world. These companies recognise they have an impact beyond their financial one so they now quantify their total impact on society, the environment, the economy and tax, says PwC.

The driving goal for these companies is to make a positive social and environmental impact, says the report. It explains that such firms will exercise strong control over their supplier networks to ensure that their corporate ethical values are upheld across the supply chain, and they will have processes in place to troubleshoot when things go wrong.

Meanwhile, employees in green companies will be expected to uphold corporate values and targets around the environmental agenda. Working practices will also change, says PwC, with the need to travel to meet clients and colleagues replaced by technological solutions (see Ricoh example, pp.14–19).

In this scenario, employees’ carbon footprints will be carefully monitored and built into performance targets.

The report is underpinned by evidence from a survey of 10,000 people in China, Germany, India, the UK and the US. Sixty-five per cent of respondents want to work for an organisation with a powerful social and environmental conscience.

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