Corporate Learning and Sustainability

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As the Garden City, Singapore is aiming to be the World’s Greenest City. They started the Singapore Green Plan 2030, which will chart the whole country’s way towards a more sustainable future. Indeed, Singapore is already boasting green architecture such as Marina Bay. The city has begun constructing green buildings as early as 2008.

To reach their goal, every company in Singapore must promote sustainability. Their influence is crucial in encouraging individuals and households to adopt sustainable practices. Through corporate learning, Singapore Green Plan 2030 can push through with minimal challenges.

9But how does corporate learning relate to sustainability?

Understanding Corporate Learning

Corporate learning is a system of development strategies that educate employees. Most of these activities occur in the workplace and are rarely extracurricular. However, corporate learning can be extended outside the workplace’s walls. For example, employees can take diploma courses in Singapore to enhance their skills and advance in their careers.

Enhancing and gaining new skills are critical in corporate learning programs. Many companies are currently suffering from a skills gap, affecting their productivity. Filling the skills gap isn’t a quick task; it may take two to five years before an experienced professional becomes fully productive. Hence, companies should continually train, retrain, and educate their employees aside from allowing higher education. And corporate learning shouldn’t revolve around day-to-day activities. It should also include leadership development across all levels.

Nowadays, a corporate learning program includes sustainable practices. From energy conservation to zero-waste policies, leaders now enlighten their organizations about saving the planet. At first glance, teaching about sustainability may not look like it will enhance career development. But upon closer look, you’ll realize what sustainability has to do with such. But first, let’s delve deeper into the meaning of sustainability.

What is Sustainability?

This term seems to be a popular buzzword on the internet, especially in online business communities. There are two definitions of sustainability. One is “an ability to be maintained.” The other is the “ability to maintain an ecological balance.” In business, sustainability is viewed as the latter. As climate change accelerates, businesses are urged to preserve ecological balance in any way they can.

Corporate learning can promote sustainability because employees can be trained to be more compassionate to nature. And if our future business leaders are all eco-conscious, they can start businesses that won’t deplete our natural resources. Consumers can continue enjoying various products and services, but their consumption won’t hurt the planet anymore.

Business Sustainability

Business sustainability, or corporate sustainability, is more than just going paperless and saving energy. As said above, businesses can avoid depleting natural resources. By this, we mean investing in infrastructure, which is the only alternative besides switching to cleaner energy sources.

Adopting sustainable measures is costly, but it typically leads to enhanced recruitment, branding, and public relations. These all result in increased profits.

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Teaching Sustainability Through Corporate Learning

Of course, not all businesses can invest in infrastructure immediately. And even if they have the budget to do so, there’s one more thing more important than that: continuously learning the importance of sustainability. Simply put, companies should understand the how’s and why’s and not just the what’s.

Here are some examples of sustainability training, as seen from established companies:

  • HSBC Bank

HSBC went carbon-neutral in 2005. They also partnered with EarthWatch Institute for an international study on the effects of climate change on tree growth. The bank started sustainability programs for their employees around the world as well. They organized a forest immersion, and when the workers have returned to the office, they found ways to integrate their green education within their networks of influence.

  • Stonyfield

Yogurt maker Stonyfield taught sustainability through facility energy savings. They converted the energy saved per ton of product to employee bonuses. Stonyfield was able to reduce its energy consumption by 22% as a result.

  • eBay

The multinational e-commerce company started a competition called A Big Green Data Contest. To enter, employees identified ways eBay could reduce their greenhouse emissions, then the company voted on the top ideas. One winning idea was eco-friendly packaging that could be reused for eBay’s shipments. It has become a useful tool that helped the company save money and resources.

As you can see, there are simple ways to teach sustainability, and their benefits can last for the long term. Nature trips, employee bonuses, and contests are, in fact, more fun and approachable. And when employees have fun, they become more engaged. They’re also more motivated to understand concepts.

You don’t need to run a multi-million dollar corporation to make an impact. Your small, home-based business can be sustainable, too. As long as your corporate learning program is focused on it, you can make a change, which may be small, but no less critical for the earth.

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