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What is green HR?

Green HR is when the field of HR focuses on expanding its role to support the organisation in the pursuit of sustainability.
Green HR
© RMIT University 2017

Green HR is when the field of HR focuses on expanding its role to support the organisation in the pursuit of sustainability. In green HR, HRM policies are used to stimulate and support the sustainable use of resources and preserve the natural environment.

Green HR focuses on the development, implementation and maintenance of all activities aimed at making staff members supportive and committed to sustainable goals. Initiatives encompass HR processes of staffing, performance management and appraisal, training and development, and employment relations aligned with the organisation’s sustainability goals (O’Donohue & Torugsa, 2016).

Green HR initiatives

Green HR initiatives range from promoting double-sided photocopying to using ethical and fair practices. Green employers can witness several benefits as a result of green HR implementation, including increased employee motivation, engagement and confidence. Employees are not only likely to show increased productivity but they are also likely to become more loyal to the organisation. This would in turn lead to less staff turnover. The value of green programs in promoting social responsibility is widely recognised and the use of green HR can attract high-quality employees as a green business is regarded as more appealing. More efficient business processes and improved product or service quality also flow from green HR.

How to implement green HR

First, it’s important that HR practices and procedures align with the sustainable goals; employees will then increase their awareness and commitment toward sustainability. The shift toward sustainable business practices involves HR in an important role: to steer change in the organisation and bring together HR and CSR to create synergies between the organisation’s strategic mission to become a sustainable organisation and equip all employees and stakeholders to implement this in everyday business practice.

© RMIT University 2017
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Business Futures: Sustainable Business Through Green HR

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