At the end of 2019, the Adecco Group, the world’s largest Human Resources provider and temporary staffing firm, published the fourth edition of its Inovantage Report on “Sustainable Workforce – Driving Eco-friendly Growth”.
The report approaches the issue of a sustainable workforce and eco-friendly growth through the prism of employment, education, and the economy. Based on the premise that our planet will no longer be able to provide us with resources to sustain future generations if we do not take sustainable action soon, the report provides a framework for sustainable growth, sustainable workspaces and the jobs of the future.
The Inovantage Report suggests that the incorporation of sustainability curricula at all educational stages are key in shaping a sustainable society as well as how businesses need to adapt and do their part in helping shape a sustainable society and economy.
Businesses need to realize that change is coming and being flexible in order to adapt to change is quickly becoming a requirement for a business to survive, thrive, and grow in this fast-changing ‘business-scape’.
Interesting facts include that 71 million of the existing jobs will be gone, but 78 million new jobs will be created. Existing jobs that will transform to fit into the new reality and include environmental responsibilities and the green economy will generate 18 million new jobs by 2030. Some of the most interesting new jobs that we will see in the near future include water footprint managers, in-vitro meat scientists, and source traceability managers.
Another fact businesses need to take into consideration is that by 2025, millennials will comprise 75% of the global workforce. Contrasting previous generations, millennials do not prioritize money, power, and prestige. Instead, they are more likely to work for causes they support and choose companies that have a clearly defined sustainability strategy. As mentioned in the report, “Companies must adjust their policies to attract and retain Millennials.”
The above is further supporter by studies which show that companies investing in sustainable workplaces perform better than those who do not and help employees be more productive, while reducing energy costs, eliminating waste and providing the flexibility needed to adapt to change.
Ms. Rania Assariotaki, Sustainability Manager, Office of Public Affairs, The American College of Greece, gives the following recommendations to businesses operating in the Greek market: “You must take into account The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. Indicatively, the protection of human rights, adherence to the labor standards, promotion of greater environmental responsibility and working against corruption in all its forms. You must also carefully study the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and work towards achieving those that adhere to the company’s operations, mission, vision, and values. In addition, companies must focus on ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility), which provides guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way, by acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society. A framework for sustainable growth must pinpoint, prevent, mitigate, and explain any negative impact the company may have on society and the environment and create a compliance and integrity culture. The main goal must be to establish a sustainability culture within the organization. In conclusion, it is important for business to select the most suitable reporting tool in order to evaluate the company’s sustainability framework/strategy and make any necessary changes/improvements.”
The American College of Greece (ACG), the only academic institution in Greece featured in the report, is committed to enhancing the sustainability culture across Academics, Operations, Community Engagement & Social Responsibility, and Planning and Administration. As a Non-Profit educational institution, we are committed to integrating sustainability in all curricula across the three ACG divisions (Pierce, Deree, Alba) and focusing on SDG 4 – Quality Education.