Green is good: CSR for retention and recruitment

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A growing number of companies are going green and introducing sustainability programs, and it’s not just to help care for the planet (although HRM endorses that, too). As candidates become more focused on knowing who they are working for and matching values, corporate social responsibility can be a point of differentiation.

Repeated surveys show the increasing importance of a company’s values when candidates are considering their options. From a Corporate Citizenship study by Cone Inc. showing  77% of respondents believed “a company’s commitment to social issues is important when I decide where to work”, to a 2007 Scotiabank study that found 70% of Canadians would consider changing jobs if their employers did not operate in a socially responsible manner.

It’s a tool Mitsubishi has found effective over the past 10 years, since it launched its Canadian operation in 2002.

“We do find that the green message resonates with potential candidates. Our candidates do a lot of research and they want to work for a company with a demonstrated track record,” Kirk Merrett, director of human resources and general affairs, said. “It’s a bigger impact with Gen Y but across the board people are seeing that that’s the future and are seeing the effects on the world of not being green.”

The initiatives are working, and he’s seeing it in the candidates the company gets. As competition for talent gets fiercer, the recruits coming through the door are happy to know they’re working for a company that shows it cares about the health of the planet.

It’s partly the company’s worldwide focus on improving the fuel efficiency of its cars that pushes that sustainable branding, but there are other initiatives including hosting the country’s only “quick charge” station. Drivers of electric cars can stop off at Mitsubishi’s Mississauga offices and charge their batteries for free. The boost is guilt free too – Mitsubishi gets its power through Bullfrog Power to guarantee they’re using renewable resources.

It also supports Right to Play as its single point charity. “Companies have to be good corporate citizens and more companies are realizing that. People are very particular about the kind of company they want to work for now,” Merrett said.



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