Organization Development

Jun 06, 2022 8 min read

Green HRM: Building a Culture of Sustainability

Mr. Mousom Some is working as DGM(Production) at Paradip Refinery

Green Human Resource Management (Green HRM) is the commitment of the organization towards saving the natural resources and establishing the sustainable work culture. Green HRM practices are policy framework underscored by HR dedicated towards protecting the environment. Prioritizing Sustainability is the best for People, Planet and Profit in long term. Latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warned that global warming is accelerating

much faster than estimation. Hence, there is a sense of urgency to act towards Sustainability. That’s why the World is mobilising towards Global Net Zero Emission by 2050. But the world leaders are struggling to balance two major KPI of nation, Economic Growth and Net Zero Emission. We have Environment (caring for the environment and community) at the core of our Vision. As a responsible organization, we need to place sustainability at the core of corporation’s strategy also. Action towards Embedded sustainability always give positive impact on performance. 

By integrating sustainability in the business process, organization can be innovative, profitable, win respect from customers and build the pride among its employees. This will make the employees more engaged and more aligned.

Sustainability and Innovation

3M developed fire suppression fluids i.e. Novec which is the first viable, sustainable alternative to polluting clean agent (hydrofluorocarbons and halons). This is how 3M integrated sustainability with Innovation through process modification and product reformulation.

Nike also integrated sustainability into its innovation process by creating Flyknit line. This uses a specialized yarn system that requires

  • Minimum labour

  • Reduces waste by 80%

  • Generating large profit margins.

This is how Nike integrated Sustainability and Innovation.

Sustainability and Profitability

Sometimes we have perception that we can’t handle two balls Sustainability and Profitability both at the same time. But there is an ample example of not holding this anymore. As per published information, Dow invested nearly $2 billion (Since 1994) in improving resource efficiency and saved $9.8 billion from reduced energy and wastewater consumption in manufacturing.  In 2013, GE reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 32% and water use by 45% compared to 2004 and 2006 baselines, respectively, resulting in $300 million in savings.

Implementation of Green HRM Practices

Therefore, there are multiple benefit of adopting sustainability practices and implementing the Green HRM principles.

  1. In the United Kingdom, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Merlin Entertainments to provide "reverse vending machines" where customers can get half-price theme park admission by recycling their plastic drink bottles.

We can transform our organization as a paperless organization by implementing the digital technology in greater way and providing incentives. Paperless policy framework in the organization would provide lot of saving of GHG (Green House Gas) in the environment. For the office use, we use lot of paper, prints, files which can be scraped by effective implementation Paperless policy framework. This may be incentivised by providing tab with all company related apps, intranet etc. to the employees. 1 kg of paper results in approximately

1kg of CO2 during its production (1.2kg of CO2 for unrecycled, and 0.7kg of CO2 for recycled paper). Therefore the following steps would be of great path forward towards sustainability

    1. Reduction of Paper budget by 90%

    2. Reduction of Office Printer by 90%

    3. All documents should be in soft form.

    4. Investment in cloud storage, tabs instead of physical document library and printer.

    5. No booklets for training, internal magazines etc.

    6. All official transaction should be though app based software.

  1. People who adopt sustainable behaviour are more likely to make other beneficial adjustments. IKEA started its sustainability journey called Live Lagom (means Live with Right Quantity) in depth among a core group of its consumers. In line with this, IKEA customers started with a single action, such as minimising home food waste, but then go on to other domains, such as energy conservation. IKEA also saw a snowball effect, in which people began with little activities and progressed to larger ones. Purchasing LED light bulbs, for example, might lead to wearing warmer clothes and turning down the thermostat, insulating doors and windows to reduce heat loss, purchasing energy-efficient appliances, installing a programmed thermostat, and so on.

The initiative of saving transport fuel can be one of the biggest green initiatives of the organization. This will not only save the environment but also save the pie of country’s import bill. If transport communication of the employees with the office are converted from individual to group or collaborative level, significant amount of Carbon Dioxide (Around 0.1 MMTPA Co2) release at ambience can be saved. Using of group transportation in bus would save around 90% of the Green House Gas (GHG) emission compared to individual car transportation.


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Comments (4)

Anupam Chanda

It's really a great article!! A clear idea is received about the sustainability of resources for our future generations & also the 2 simple ways for acquiring the same by cultural change of our Corporation without hampering its profitability.

  • 12 Jun 2022

Amlan Jyoti Das

A good take on sustainability. However, with efforts of sustainability also comes the conduit of making it a reality and the plausibility associated with it. For example, the paperless culture being discussed here is a great initiative, however with this also comes the notion of cyber-security. To go completely paperless, firms such as IOC require to have a secure data infrastructure which is resistant to hacks and data leakage, along with a wholesome cyber literacy against common attacks such as phishing, the very instance of their absence being the recent cyber attack on OIL. These would ensure zero leakage of emergency data and identification of avenues for the same. Inspiration from firms such as Cairn can be taken which have transformed their shift and data logs into a digitized form.

  • 13 Jun 2022

Anjan Ghosh

This Article Opened Window for me to look into the Realtime Achievements that People have already done in Different demographic regions. If they can start, then What are we waiting for? Your Article definitely Inspires us to go in an innovative & smart way. But there is a point in my mind that while we go in a completely paperless path , redundancy & recall ability of Data must be maintained in a Full proof way like that of Paper.

  • 13 Jun 2022

Om Prakash

This article has been written very articulately and meticulously. A completely new perspective and insights have been put forth in the article. It was very enlightening experience to go through the green perspective of HRM. Kudos to the author.

  • 13 Jun 2022

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