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Comprehensive incentive programs help firms implement sustainable practices

When businesses create employee incentive programs, they see better results from their sustainable initiatives.

Sustainable business practices provide a number of benefits for organizations. In addition to being good for the environment, implementing green initiatives encourages innovation and long-term planning as well as reduces waste.

Consumers often appreciate the additional value created by environmentally-friendly products. Companies that takes steps to reduce their carbon footprints, could see a rise in patron loyalty. The improved reputation allows merchants to capture repeat sales and position themselves for long-term growth. Despite these advantages, many firms struggle to implement sustainable initiatives throughout their  operations.

Green practices may garner a good response initially, but they commonly fall by the wayside as other objectives become a priority. To maximize the value of these programs, companies should consider incentivizing staff members at various levels within their organization. A new study by CDP found that when businesses create employee incentive programs, they see better results from their sustainable initiatives.

The Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 found that firms offering rewards to everyone from executives to front-line workers were 18 percent more likely to report a reduction in energy use and emissions in the past year. Business Spectator stated that these results indicate stronger overall financial performance for companies making sustainability a priority within their cultures. The focus on the environment encourages long-term planning that contributes to fewer risks and greater flexibility.

"The corporate world is an aggregator of both risks and opportunities from this challenge, so this report is written for businesses, investors and policy makers that want a clear understanding of how the world's largest listed companies can transform themselves in order to protect our natural capital," said CDP CEO Paul Simpson.

Company culture essential to achieving objectives
Employee incentive programs help organizations create common goals that can galvanize departments. These initiatives boost morale and provide a high level of energy that is essential to staff engagement. Comprehensive use of rewards and recognition contribute to a centralized culture that help organizations reach complex objectives such as cutting energy use and minimizing waste.

A strong culture ensures that all workers understand their role in executing their company's vision. This encourages staff members to continually seek solutions for improving group performance in key metrics. Best practices become more organic and are easily replicated throughout an organization to build value. When everyone is striving toward the same destination, it is easier to implement widespread programs that get results.

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