The business case for corporate sustainability has never been clearer and more widely accepted. To successfully embed sustainable thinking into any organisation you must understand the role that everyone plays and develop a strategy to engage with staff and encourage them to adopt new behaviours.

Employee engagement is often overlooked when considering sustainability, but if utilised correctly it’s possible to achieve fantastic results quickly and for far less capital expense in comparison to some alternatives. Remember, it’s far easier to reach your environmental targets when your colleagues are engaged in sustainability and aware of the ways they can make positive contributions.

In addition to the cost savings associated with going green, research shows that staff feel prouder and more inclined to work for companies who promote and embrace sustainability and protect the environment - leading to increased morale, loyalty and productivity!

SMS are experts in all aspects of planning, delivery and on-going analysis of sustainability and environmental projects based on the issues you want to address, e.g. legal compliance; energy & travel reduction; waste & resource management; and wider community and staff engagement.

In 2011 SMS Plc were appointed by Santander to develop and manage their UK ‘Go Green’ employee engagement strategy. Our ‘Reduce your Carbon Footprint’ and ‘Sustainable Santander’ campaigns encouraged staff to save energy, recycle more and print less.

The national ‘Kill-A-Watt’ energy challenge saw every Santander branch in the UK compete against each other to reduce their energy usage. The branches with highest percentage reduction were crowned the region’s ‘Energy Champion’ and won £250 to donate to a charity of their choice. The 18 month project was a fantastic success with the branch network achieved a 15% average energy reduction with zero capital investment!

However, positive cultural shifts don’t happen overnight, it’s important to address the issues both from the top and at a grass roots level if improved behaviour is to be sustained. To maintain momentum and embed sustainable thinking into all aspects of the bank we developed the ‘Green Club’ - a network of over 1,500 UK staff who volunteer time to support and drive sustainability projects that make Santander a greener and better place to work.

If you would like to discuss how SMS can help your organisation achieve its sustainability and environmental objectives please email Paul.Jarvis@sms-plc.com or contact us on 02920 739 535 for further information.