What does the environmental revolution mean for employee benefits?
When it comes to the environmental revolution, businesses have a progressive role to play. Many are already committed to putting climate action at the heart of their operations and a growing number are expected to follow suit. Not only will this attract young, talented, and climate-conscious Gen Zers and Millennials to the organization, but it will also make the organization stand out to climate-conscious consumers.
One easy way to go green is to offer sustainable employee benefits. From public transport incentives to locally-sourced food programs and beyond, green incentives for employees will help your organization lower its carbon footprint in no time. If you don’t know how to create a sustainable employee benefits plan, you’re in luck as this Pacific Prime article will give you plenty of ideas to keep you going.
1. Encourage your employees to commute into work more sustainably
Your employees may drive long distances to get to work, which contributes to traffic, congestion, and pollution. So why not encourage them to ditch their cars and opt for sustainable modes of travel? You can offer discounted public transport passes and/or have salary sacrifice programs for bicycle purchases, whereby employees can gradually pay for the bicycle through a monetary dedication from their salary.
To make biking (or walking) more attractive, you can install showers and lockers in the office. This kills two birds with one stone: lowering your organization’s carbon footprint and ensuring your employees stay active. As exercise does wonders for one’s physical and mental health, employees will be in a better mood, more productive, and less likely to get sick or use their group health insurance plan. In other words, there are cost savings for your organization.
There are also plenty of opportunities to get a bit more creative with your green benefits. A shift to flexible working and hybrid working arrangements and helping employees who live in the same area organize carpooling also ensures that less commuting is needed. What’s more, you can also provide electric cars instead of regular cars for executives that normally are entitled to a company car in their employee benefits package.
2. Promote sustainable homes via information, resources, and incentives
Did you know that only a few tweaks may be needed to make our homes more sustainable and energy efficient? But accurate and reliable information may be lacking, as is the financial incentive to make the initial installation costs worth it. That’s where employers can fill in the gap – by providing information and resources that promote sustainable homes, as well as discounts and rebates through partnering with local providers.
Here are solutions to incentivize employees to adopt:
- Renewable energy tariffs
- Home insulation
- Solar panels
- Smart thermostats
- LED light bulbs
- Energy efficient appliances
- Environmentally-friendly cleaning products
- Sustainable waste management products like composting supplies
- And more.
3. Introduce locally-sourced food programs and sustainable initiatives
Introducing locally-sourced food programs and sustainable initiatives encourages your employees to eat food that is available locally, rather than imported food from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. This means fewer vehicles on the road (and possible airplanes) and lower emissions associated with transporting food. Depending on your organization’s size and demographics, you can also incorporate community or social giving activities.
Here are some programs and initiatives to consider:
- Subsidized memberships for local farms cooperatives that sell farm fresh produce, eggs, dairy products, or meat
- Growing vegetables and fruits on company premises – say, on the rooftop of the building – and sharing the produce with employees
- Hosting classes, workshops, and activities to promote gardening for employees with green thumbs
- And more.
4. Thinking out-of-the-box when it comes to green employee benefits
When it comes to green employee benefits, the sky really is your limit so think out-of-the box! Is there any way you can cut down business travel and opt for video conferencing instead? What about giving employees “journey days” in addition to their annual leave? This enables them to opt for ferries, trains, or coaches rather than flying when going on holiday. Or why not organize team building events whereby employees plant trees or raise money for sustainable charities?
What’s more, don’t discount what happens behind the scene. In addition to offering sustainable employee benefits, it’s also important to carefully vett the employee benefits providers and other third-party providers that you work with. Do they have similar values as your organization? What is their approach to looking after the environment? Who are their suppliers? These are some of the questions you should be asking.
For all things employee benefits, Pacific Prime is at your service!
Pacific Prime is an employee benefits and health insurance brokerage. For over two decades now, we’ve been helping organizations of all sizes and industries design, implement, and manage employee benefits that align with their values and goals in a tailored, technology-driven way. We’re also committed to building a more sustainable future, and this is reflected in our practices.
To learn more about our sustainable and environment policies, our brokerage capabilities and industry-leading technology, as well as to get personalized advice for your organization, feel free to arrange a FREE consultation with our corporate team today!