Canadian HR Reporter

April 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 31 9 their plastic-waste collection. The company's programs encourage a shared set of values across the employee base, she says. "Our teams are highly engaged and take pride in our collective CSR efforts." Greenwashing not encouraged But there are employers that engage in "greenwashing," where a company says that it is reducing its environmental footprint and it isn't, or it says that it has a green product and the product isn't green, says Strandberg. Greenwashing is "marketing green credentials that are not factual," she says, and these symbolic-only CSR efforts generally fail to motivate employees positively. The term greenwashing was coined by environmentalist Jay Westervelt after observing companies in the hotel industry, says Donia, where companies may encourage customers to reduce laundry usage but don't offer recycling in the rooms. "Is it really about the environment or is it about looking like you're serving the environment? It's the idea of just wellbeing of our members along with the communities they live in." The company went carbon-neutral in 2008 and started offering socially responsible mutual funds in 1986. These and other efforts are reflected high scores on the employee engagement survey when it comes to being a socially and environmentally responsible organization. "That actually speaks to how employees feel about the purpose of the values here," she says. The Body Shop became a certified B Corp in 2019, meaning it's legally required to consider the impact of its decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. As well, the company recently introduced two new programs to address the plastic-waste crisis. With one, customers are incentivized to bring back empty plastic packaging so it can be properly recycled, says Hilary Lloyd, VP of marketing and values, North America, at the Body Shop in Toronto. With another, waste collectors in India are properly compensated for painting it green without actually being green." When employers engage in green- washing, it's not hard for employees to discover this truth, she says. "If a company engages in greenwashing for external reputation, profit enhancements, the pitfall is that if employees see it as greenwashing, then it won't have positive outcomes; it will actually have negative outcomes and these are stronger when CSR is important to them." However, every exercise should be applauded or at least acknowledged positively, says Lloyd. "As long as the promises and intentions are true and respectful, that's OK. There's space for everyone to contribute in reducing environmental impact and advocating for social equality," she says. "Any efforts that align with your business' core values, which you can focus on authentically, are good CSR efforts." HR's role in avoiding the risks In implementing a CSR program, employers face many perils, according to Strandberg. "A risk is not putting metrics against it; a risk is not having targets; a risk is not having it in the incentive program; a risk is not embedding it in job descriptions and not embedding it in performance management, not embedding it in rewards and recognition programs, and not embedding it in who gets promoted in the company and having leaders that don't walk the talk, and not putting the change-management effort in place that's necessary..." Many of the risks are controllable by HR, she says. "There's a significant call to action on the part of HR managers to become equipped to understand how to embed social purpose into the life cycle of the employee," says Strandberg. "HR as a culture driver is the one to be aligning the values to the corporate purpose, helping define what those behaviours are against those values and then helping to develop incentive metrics that cascade into the organization, making sure that the right people are on the bus." CHRR Vancity employees participate in the Reconciliation Walk in 2018. The Professional Trainer Institute of Professional Management This mixed media package includes a text-based USB Flash Drive with participant workbook and exam. Works on Mac and PC. 37 2210-1081 Ambleside Drive, Ottawa, ON, K2B 8C8 Tel: (613) 721-5957 Toll Free: 1-888-441-0000 Full Accreditation Program $745 regular $945 ... save $200 The goal of this program is to teach participants how to assess the need for training, develop the material, prepare the handouts, deliver the content and evaluate the results. Successful completion of all 3 Modules makes you eligible for membership in the Canadian Professional Trainers Association, CPTA, with the RPT (Registered Professional Trainer) designation. valid until May 8, 2020 Details at:

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian HR Reporter - April 2020 CAN