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The weather may be cooling down (or at least it is where this reporter is sitting), but the planet is still heating up—and one company is trying to reduce its environmental footprint by incentivizing its employees to lead greener home lives.
Since 2022, energy management company Schneider Electric is encouraging its roughly 34,000 North American employees to make their homes more environmentally friendly through its Sustainability@Home program, according to Shalin Kothari, VP of people and DE&I strategy.
HR can play a key role in a company’s sustainability plan, according to HR Director, because organizations tend to fall short on greener promises when HR isn’t involved to encourage employees to stay the course. When companies put employees at the center of green initiatives, it accelerates positive outcomes, according to a September report from Ernst & Young.
“Every company has an obligation of being more sustainable and pushing their employees to become more sustainable as well,” Kothari told HR Brew. “Every corporation now is taking a position, in terms of when they’re going to be carbon neutral, but if you look at where a lot of carbon emissions are…it’s done at the individual level within homes.”
Through Schneider’s Sustainability@Home program, all employees have access to a website where the company provides discounts on sustainable products, including solar panels and electric vehicles from Schneider and other brands.
The company also reimburses its nearly 18,000 US employees up to $600 annually for sustainable purchases, like solar panel installation (something Kothari said he has taken advantage of) and composting equipment.
Employees can also earn up to an additional $400 annually to put toward sustainable purchase by logging healthy habits, like the steps they take, in Virgin Pulse, a habit-tracking app.
Schneider also hosts lunch-and-learn sessions on a monthly basis during which employees can learn and ask questions about sustainable products and habits, Kothari said, adding how he hopes the Sustainability@Home initiative will help employees adopt a “sustainability mindset.”
“We want to put our money where our mouth is, and we’ll help you,” he said.
Correction 11/17/23: This article has been updated since it was first published to reflect that Schneider Electric has 18,000 employees in the US and that its Sustainability@Home program is available to its North American employees.