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Employee Engagement In Sustainability Initiatives Enhances Corporate Productivity

SINGAPORE, LONDON and CHICAGO, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As commercial real estate leaders pursue strategies to enhance sustainability through building performance, corporations and other organisations that own and lease space are making sure their employees are aware of the benefits and engaged in making sustainability programs successful.

Jones Lang LaSalle's new Global Sustainability Perspective (GSP) report identifies the important role that employee engagement plays in producing sustainable change.

"Numerous studies have shown that employees enjoy work more and are more productive when they see their companies acting in a socially-responsible manner," said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at Jones Lang LaSalle. "Companies can improve their bottom line by showing employees how they can participate in sustainability programmes, and by seeking employee input on ways to continually enhance those programmes."

The Global Sustainability Perspective report distils the employee engagement process to three essential phases—raising awareness, building engagement and maintaining commitment. It also features three real-world examples from well-known organisations that have tackled the challenge of engaging employees in developing meaningful and ambitious sustainability programmes where passions, ideas and experiences of staff are woven into the company strategy to achieve measurable results:

  • Grainger plc, a leader in UK residential property, raised awareness of its leadership in corporate responsibility by hosting a half-day seminar for 10 percent of its employees that discussed the company's efforts at resilience in the face of potential adverse housing trends. One hundred percent of participants surveyed after the seminar said they would like to continue to stay engaged.
  • Bank of America's My Environment employee initiative grew to 12,000 active employee participants in 26 countries, and 1,445 ambassadors in 11 countries, within two years of its inception. In that time, the initiative has helped build engagement by expanding from an employee education focus to an action-oriented global community, with members dedicated to helping the bank meet its environmental operations goals.
  • CA Technologies has maintained employee engagement by establishing pilot projects to measure and improve repeatable processes that can then be applied broadly. Its Green Teams drove colleagues in Paris to reduce paper consumption by 10.5 percent and measured the waste stream in Sydney to raise the percentage of recycling/reuse to between 85 to 90 percent of overall waste.

"Owners and managers of multi-tenant office buildings should be aware of the employee engagement strategies of their major tenants, so that they can show how initiatives at the building are in alignment with tenants' corporate values," said Jones Lang LaSalle Executive Vice President Bob Best.  "Building management and leasing professionals need to stay abreast of these issues to remain competitive for high-quality tenants."

"It's ironic that a building's occupants are often overlooked as key players in sustainability initiatives, when they are the ones using energy and benefiting from a healthier workplace," Probst said.  "By making employees aware of their effect on the environment, and what they can do to make a positive change, companies can not only meet their sustainability objectives but enhance job satisfaction as well."

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