In this post let’s identify the impact that undertaking IEMA sustainability training can have on an organisation. Resources within organisations can be limited, so it is important that a business case is made that justifies the time and expense of employees attending sustainability training, as with other types of training courses. Personally I think there are too many benefits to mention in a blog post, so we will look at the key ones.
Knowledge is Power
This seems to be my mantra at the moment. Training of just about any kind is a key facet of sustainable development, it particularly helps build human capital (remember my five capitals blog post anyone?) and is directly related to assisting the stewardship of natural capital. If we do not train people, how do they know how to improve? You cannot expect a great deal of improvement in environmental performance, for example, if people do not know what they are supposed to do.
Circular Rather than Linear!
A key part of just about every IEMA training course is the coverage of the circular economy. This has many benefits for a business. For example, if we use less energy in producing a product or create less waste then there can be a great deal of money to be saved. The circular approach is also likely to make your business operations more efficient and gain some significant kudos from customers.
Don’t Fall Foul of The Law
A common topic on the IEMA sustainability courses is law. Now take it from me, environmental law can be complicated and there are many pieces of legislation that a competent practitioner should be aware of, such as the Environmental Protection Act, Permitting Regulations etc, etc, etc! By building knowledge of these requirements within a business the risk of none compliance and its negative effects such as bad publicity, fines and legal costs can all be minimised.
Yes I know – it is very difficult to motivate some people, but by training people on sustainability it can have a significant impact. It is likely that you will experience an increase in productivity, as a fair number of folks will gain enjoyment out of working for a company that takes its ethical responsibilities seriously and does its best not have a significant environmental impact. Generally, it is making your company better, more valuable and you will be seen to be a good employer. It may also help your business attract and retain the best staff.
Keeping Customers Happy
A key issue for any business is to ensure that its customers are happy with their performance. By training staff on sustainability issues, we can have engaged and knowledgeable workforces who are likely to be ambassadors for the business. This ensures that customers are likely to be more loyal to a business, as they feel they are doing their best to be sustainable. It is also likely to increase an organisations general reputation and give a company an edge over its competitors who do not take their environmental responsibilities seriously. IEMA trained staffs are therefore likely to assist in keeping customers very, very happy.
It’s Useful Outside of the Workplace as Well as at Work
We should not forget that IEMA sustainability courses can ensure that a person develops skills that can be just as important outside of work as well as inside the workplace. As individuals there are numerous actions we can take to make our lives more sustainable. However, if we do not know or understand issues or are not aware of actions to take to become more sustainable then there is less likelihood that we will change. It is important that businesses use their influence on staff for good, as this plays an important role in corporate social responsibility (CSR).
That’s all Folks!
Well where do we stop? There are so many great reasons as to why a business should train its staff on sustainability, and to be honest we have covered just a few in this blog post. There are many IEMA courses that a business could consider that will improve sustainability performance; the correct one being dependant on factors such as position, role, responsibility and business sector with the business.
John Binns BSc (Hons), MSc, MSc, MIEMA