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The sustainable workplace: How environmental initiatives drive employee engagement and loyalty

4 min read

Key points:

  • Importance of a sustainability plan: A well-structured sustainability plan is vital for companies seeking to promote environmental management and employee engagement. 47% of workers feel this affects their job satisfaction. A plan not only spells out the company’s goals but fosters trust and motivates staff towards sustainability. Employers prioritising such efforts contribute significantly to a greener future.
  • Sustainability’s influence on engagement: Flare’s National Employee Benefits Index reveals that Australian employees increasingly consider sustainability in their work decisions, with 59% evaluating an employer’s efforts in this area. Among Gen Z, this number rises to 66%, and 43% of employees feel sustainability affects their job satisfaction.
  • Green transportation and novated leasing: Employees are actively seeking environmentally friendly transportation options, with 87% stressing over transportation costs. 61% would use public transport discounts, and 81% would purchase discounted vehicles if offered. Novated leasing for electric vehicles is seen as a potential solution, but it is currently underutilised.

RELATED: Australian workers reveal the employee benefits that bring happiness

Employee engagement through sustainable initiatives. Pictured is a couple gardening.

There’s a growing discussion around sustainability, and a particular focus on how a company’s environmental efforts can affect employee satisfaction and loyalty. 

But is this connection tangible and quantifiable? That’s what we aimed to discover with our National Employee Benefit Index, a thorough analysis of over 1,500 working Australians’ attitudes toward work and sustainability.

Released in April 2023, our research uncovered vital insights into how employees in Australia perceive sustainability, and the ways in which their company’s sustainability efforts can heighten their engagement.

The link between sustainability and work engagement

Our nationwide research on employee benefits revealed that 59% of workers consider their employer’s sustainability initiatives when engaging with the company. 

This figure escalates to 66% among Gen Z employees, underlining the growing importance of sustainability to younger individuals entering the workforce.

The emphasis on sustainability isn’t confined to the job-hunting phase.

42% of employees feel their company’s sustainability initiatives influence their job satisfaction, demonstrating that sustainability continues to matter over time.

Moreover, over half of the employees we surveyed affirm that sustainability strengthens their loyalty to the company.

The role of a sustainability plan in driving engagement

For a company to succeed in implementing environmental management and social responsibility, a well-structured sustainability plan is essential. This plan outlines the steps the organisation will take to become environmentally friendly.

By adopting a sustainability strategy, businesses can show their employees that they care about making the world a better place, and motivate their staff to take action on environmental issues. 

A sustainability plan does more than just describe the organisation’s long-term objectives; it also explains how those objectives will be met. This transparent approach fosters a sense of trust and empowers employees to contribute with their ideas and efforts toward sustainability.

RELATED: Breaking the cycle: addressing financial stress in the workplace 

The quest for better transportation solutions

Employees want to be part of the solution and are actively looking for ways to be kind to the environment… and their wallet.

63% of surveyed employees would use public transport discounts, and 81% would purchase discounted vehicles if offered by their employer.

This makes sense given that 87% of workers are concerned about transportation costs, according to our research. 

However, currently novated leasing is offered by just 20% of organisations, yet this benefit has been shown to have the greatest impact on take home pay

Would you use this benefit in the future?

The benefits of electric vehicle novated leasing

Electric vehicle (EV) novated leasing presents several advantages for both employees and companies. 

Employees gain access to a sustainable, exciting, and innovative transportation option that aligns with their environmental values. Electric vehicles offer the benefits of lower emissions, zero fuel costs, and a quieter and smoother driving experience. 

By incorporating electric vehicles through novated leasing, companies can significantly decrease their carbon emissions, showcasing their commitment to sustainability and inspiring others to follow suit. 

Flare offers novated leasing of EVs to businesses of all sizes, and as of July 1st, 2023, new legislation means that EVs priced at or below the luxury car tax threshold ($89,332) are not subject to Fringe Benefits Tax. 

The government estimates that an electric car valued at $50,000 would save an employer approximately $9,000 in FBT payments. 

Meanwhile, employees who lease the same car through salary sacrificing could save around $4,700 annually. This means that at the end of a five-year lease, a $73,000 EV will cost the same after tax as a $53,000 petrol car.

Related: Unveiling the data: the impact of employee wellbeing on performance

Unlocking engagement… sustainably

Employer sustainability efforts have the power to unlock employee engagement and make a substantial impact on the planet. 

By prioritising sustainability and offering benefits like novated leasing for electric vehicles, employers can play a crucial role in shaping a greener future.

At Flare, we think that sustainable practices are not only a responsibility but also an opportunity to improve the world. Let’s work together to unlock engagement, drive employer sustainability efforts, and pave the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for everyone. 

To gain deeper insights into how sustainability impacts the preferences of Australian employees, delve into our National Employee Benefits Index.

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Explore the tangible connection between sustainability and employee engagement through a comprehensive study of over 1,500 working Australians conducted by Flare.