Environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies impact several areas within a business, from its C02 reduction to the people’s culture, the work environment and more. All areas of ESG are integral to the survival of a company in the current global climate. But why is this?
In this article, we will look at the importance and impact of ESG, how Shields has always aimed to align with this and how this shapes Gen Z’s approach to employment.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy relates to a company’s ethics and sustainability and incorporates factors such as waste, employee wellbeing, corruption, diversity and greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, ESG has become increasingly important as consumers, investors and other stakeholders take more interest in the values of the brands they engage with. For example, a consumer behaviour study by Deloitte found that 40% of consumers choose brands that have environmentally sustainable values.
As well as being of significant importance to consumers, a company’s ESG is now a high priority for employees and potential employees, and this is particularly true of the youngest working generation – Gen Z. Here we explore how Gen Z like some other generations approach ESG in the work environment and how Shields has implemented strategies that support this demand.
Gen Z and the Workplace
Usually defined as the group of people born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z are credited with having a heightened ethical awareness. For example, one study by BUPA showed that 68% of Gen Z are anxious about environmental issues. This focus influences many of the decisions that the Gen Z community make, particularly those in relation to their careers and employers.
The same BUPA study uncovered that 54% of Gen Z respondents would be willing to take a pay cut to work for a business that reflects their ethics, while 31% said that they would turn down an offer from a company with poor ESG credentials. When we consider this statistic in conjunction with the competitive nature of today’s job market and the growing proportion of Gen Zers within the workforce, it is clear that an effective ESG strategy is now essential in attracting and retaining talent.
Our ESG Commitment
Although ESG practices are relatively new to many companies, we have been committed to creating a more sustainable future since our brand’s inception. Our revolutionary MarketPlace platform is designed to help the telecommunications industry transform their procurement process and move towards a circular economy. By enabling telecommunication operators to implement refurbished and recycled equipment in their infrastructure, MarketPlace supports our clients in the delivery of their own ESG goals.
In addition to supporting the ESG commitments of telecommunication companies around the world, at Shields we have developed our own robust strategy based on 1.5 °C-aligned science-based 2030 targets.
As part of our ESG it is our aim to have reduced our absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2030, using 2020 as our baseline year. We also plan to begin measuring and reducing our Scope 3 emissions by this time. In order to meet these ambitious targets we have made several operational changes within the business. As well as converting our sites to LED lighting, we are currently considering alternative energy supply sources and we continue to monitor the potential for electric vehicle usage.
As with all our successes and achievements, each member of our team will be instrumental in attaining these goals. We are working closely with our staff across our sites in Spain, France, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA to explore more energy-efficient working practices and support our team as we advance our aims.
Our People and Culture
Our ESG strategy is closely linked with our company culture and overall ethos, and we’ve worked hard to establish commitments that are good for the environment and align with the values of our employees. One employee wrote “I’m proud to work for a company which values a healthy working environment for its people and commits to environmentally friendly strategies to increase global connectivity. We truly are one global team, and everyone is very can do and supportive of each other which is refreshing to see.”
As with our ESG targets, our business goals and development needs are continuously reviewed by our leadership team. This enables us to create employee development plans that are tailored to support each member of staff to grow and progress. We are committed to enabling our employees’ career aspirations and to communicating and collaborating openly to promote positive teamwork as we believe that the Shields whole is greater than the sum of our parts.
To learn more about our rewarding and challenging career opportunities, contact our People Team at [email protected].