Loyalty-led marketing agency Hachiko has issued a challenge for Australian and New Zealand businesses: It’s time to stand up and take a genuine climate leadership approach by bringing your employees, channel partners and customers along for the ride.
Patrina Kerr, Hachiko Managing Director, says carbon reduction strategies have been a hot topic for senior leadership teams in local organisations even before COP26 turned up the heat.
“More and more businesses are under pressure to support climate change and are looking for strategies to do more,” Kerr says.
However, many businesses are yet to harness the power of their employees, channel partners and customers in their plans – and that’s a big mistake, she says.
“By taking these key groups along with you on your carbon reduction strategy you can accelerate your results to influence a positive change, become an employer others want to work for, and take a strong environmental leadership role,” Kerr says.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions benefits an organisation's bottom line through the reduction of operating costs and improved employee productivity through more efficient practices. At the same time, studies also show that morale is 55 percent higher amongst employees with a strong culture of sustainability, and millennials in particular, feel their job is more fulfilling when they have the opportunity to make a positive impact on social or environmental issues.
There’s even good evidence that employee carbon programs can create a point of difference when it comes to attracting and retaining key talent: A recent survey from HR software company ELMO found 71% of Australian GenZers and 52% of millennials would refuse to work for a company they felt wasn’t taking action to address climate change.
“You’re already working as an organisation on reducing emissions, so why not take your key stakeholders on the journey with you and accelerate your reductions?” Kerr says.
Carbon Intelligence’s Carbon Commitment Report noted that 66% of employees would support a bonus incentive scheme to cut carbon use at work. Despite that, few organisations have targets and goals for staff to cut their own workplace, or personal, carbon footprint – and few employees are aware of how they can reduce their impact.
In response to growing demand from local organisations for help with their emissions reductions programs, Hachiko has launched an industry-leading Carbon Neutral Rewards program to help organisations educate and reward employees, channel partners and customers for their positive actions to reduce carbon emissions.
The program takes a three-pronged approach, enabling individuals to measure their carbon footprint, provide education and recommendations on how to make changes and thirdly to reward and recognise the positive actions.
Kerr says the strategy is a global first to offer a fully managed carbon neutral reward program that can be delivered to employees, channel partners and customers as a new incentive program, or as a value-add to an existing program.
“No one else is offering a managed rewards program to businesses that is dedicated to addressing climate change. It’s an opportunity for New Zealand and Australian organisations to join us in being market leaders.”
Hachiko has partnered with New Zealand’s CarbonClick, a leading enviro-tech company who make meaningful climate action simple and transparent for businesses to help speed their journey to net zero.
Using the tools provided in the program individuals can find out their footprint in less than 60 seconds and get a clear overview of the parts of their footprint that have the biggest impact.
Custom content is included to raise awareness of the organisation’s sustainability objectives and targets, online quizzes, webinars and on-demand training can be added, along with customised rewards and regular reports that can supplement ESG reporting.
Kerr says where individuals can’t make immediate reductions, they can offset a portion of their footprint to accelerate their impact.
“Through the program, every offset contribution can be instantly tracked and traced directly to meaningful reforestation and clean energy projects with wide social benefits, such as restoring ecosystems and creating sustainable green jobs,” she says.
“The Carbon Neutral Reward program is a great opportunity to increase engagement with your employees, channel partners and customers to empower these individuals to make a positive change now,” Kerr says. “It’s a real opportunity for any senior leadership team or local organisation to stand up and say you’re taking climate action seriously.”