How CSOs Can Get the Support They Need From CHROs

How CSOs Can Get the Support They Need From CHROs

By Caroline Klatt, COO, Flowcarbon
November 28, 2023

As we consider the ever-changing and forever complex role of the chief sustainability officer, one thing remains constant and clear: Only by collaborating with your fellow c-suite peers will you get the buy-in, resources and support you need to make the impact needed to build a truly sustainable business.

At Flowcarbon, I work with scores of executives to craft and execute efficient and transparent carbon strategies. Through these conversations, I’ve learned what really matters to leaders from across the broader corporate leadership board — leaders who support sustainability in general but must remain focused on their own specific business goals day to day.

This week my Flowcarbon Strategy Series continues with tips for collaborating with your chief human resources officer (CHRO) to speak their language and help solve their particular pain points through a sustainability lens.

Make the Case for Your CHRO

When it comes to sustainability, here are three top-of-mind concerns your CHRO is stressing over right now.

1. Talent cares about the planet. Job candidates increasingly want to work for companies that prioritize sustainability. Sustainability is crucial to Gen Z and Millennial job seekers, as most members of these generations want to work for purpose-driven organizations. Over half of Gen Zs (55%) and millennials (54%) say they research a brand’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a job from them, according to Deloitte’s Gen Z and Millennial Survey.

  • Opportunity: If our company has an authentic commitment to sustainability — especially in this competitive job market — we’ll be more likely to attract top-tier talent. 
  • Opportunity: At the same time, if we foster a culture that values sustainable goals and actions, we’ll widen our candidate pool.

2. Employees care too. Sustainability helps drive retention. Nearly 90% of workers who work for organizations with ESG-related objectives said these goals “make them proud to work there, make their jobs more meaningful, and make them want to stay with their organization,” according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

  • Opportunity: We can boost retention by demonstrating a sense of purpose. Research shows that employees want to be proud of their employers. 
  • Opportunity: Ditto for morale. A company’s ESG initiatives are important to 41% of U.S. workers, says SHRM, with environmental factors cited overwhelmingly as most critical.

3. HR holds the key to sustainability. While HR policies on everything from hybrid work to corporate travel can dramatically — and directly — affect your company’s carbon footprint, an even bigger impact can be on its culture. In a recent survey by Deloitte, respondents deemed culture a significant barrier in an organization achieving sustainability goals.

  • Opportunity: Integrating sustainability into employee onboarding and training can instill an eco-focused mindset from an employee’s first day. This practice will help us to create an organization-wide culture of valuing sustainability.
  • Opportunity: We can ensure our organization’s success while doing our part to combat climate change by developing environmentally minded future leaders.  

As every HR leader knows, employees are an incredibly important stakeholder for your company. To that end, Human Resources is a key partner for developing the policies and programs that provide not only a sense of purpose but a source of pride that can foster stronger recruitment, better retention and even fuel advancement, helping to future-proof not only the business but our planet as well.

Learn more about how Flowcarbon can help your company’s holistic carbon emissions strategy at flowcarbon.com

For more in the series, read: How CSOs Can Get the Support They Need From Their CFOs” here.

About Flowcarbon

Flowcarbon is a pioneering carbon finance and technology company working to scale the voluntary carbon market through innovative investment and carbon finance structures and sales.

Caroline Klatt is COO of Flowcarbon, which she co-founded in 2021.

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