New Tool Helps HR Managers Incorporate Sustainable Development into Their Daily Activities

New Tool Helps HR Managers Incorporate Sustainable Development into Their Daily Activities

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has released a new tool as part of its series of functional briefings aimed at helping managers make sustainable development good for their careers and good for their companies.

Driving Success: Human Resources and Sustainable Development aims to help HR managers understand how they can contribute to their organization's sustainable development objectives. Each briefing shows how sustainable development can be a solution to a series of challenges facing the HR manager, ranging from recruiting and retaining top talent to creating incentives for exceptional performance and enhancing critical competencies.

It focuses on the issue of sustainable development -- a term which many HR managers have become accustomed to hearing alongside jargon such as stakeholder engagement and corporate
social responsibility (CSR).

Sustainable development is a compelling idea for many people. It is concerned with how business can contribute to some of the most significant challenges that the world faces today -- from climate change and biodiversity, to working conditions and health amongst the poorest in the world.

As Adine Mees, president and CEO and Jamie Bunham, senior researcher with Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, remind us: "the credibility of an organization will become damaged when it becomes evident that a company is not 'walking the talk.’"

But HR managers have often struggled to introduce sustainable development within their organizations. How, for example, should they integrate these issues into programs for recruitment and staff development, and how can they use their knowledge of the business to bring critical issues to the attention of senior management?

Driving Success does not claim there are any easy routes for HR managers to benefit from the challenge of sustainable development. Instead it asks them to test the role and relevance of sustainable development to their everyday work: how can it help their business address its strategic goals and generate long-term value; and what they can do to make this happen.
Designed for use by HR managers and people with responsibilities for recruitment, performance evaluation and training and development, as well as by sustainability experts in communicating with these professionals, we purposefully minimize sustainability jargon and use line-function language to increase awareness and understanding. Case studies, quotes, illustrations and cartoons support each document.

This briefing is one step in the ongoing collaboration between the WBCSD and the University of Cambridge Program for Industry (CPI) to change employee mindsets and integrate sustainability thinking across organizations.