Most Unique Environmentally-Friendly Benefits at Green Companies
Employees are 16 percent more productive at companies that voluntarily adopt international ‘green’ practices
Everyone’s going green.
In the last 10 years, environmentally-friendly or “green” innovation has sprung from nearly every corner of every industry — high-efficiency electric cars have zipped into the marketplace, organic foods stuff grocery store walls, the phrases “high efficiency” and “washing machine” have never felt so inseparable.
In part driven by government policy, in part by recognition that going green is not only beneficial for the Earth but also profitable for the company in cost savings and reputation, going green is continuing to grow in popularity among companies.
Some businesses have even extended their green-leaning missions to their employees, offering unique benefits for their part in helping the company to go green. Let’s get down to the specifics about who they are and why you want to work for them.
Bike to work — and get paid
Clif Bar, Honest Tea and Patagonia, as well as other companies, offer a bike to work program that actually pays employees for leaving the car in the garage. While it may not be big money (Patagonia pays workers two bucks a trip, up to two trips per day), wouldn’t it be nice to get paid to exercise and feel good about not burning fossil fuel?
Hang out with plants
Traditional offices are boring. Bland walls. Fluorescent lights. Colorless cubicles with the occasional over-watered mini cactus. What if there was an office that looked more like a rainforest than a warehouse? There is.
With a company name like CrowdFlower, (emphasis on the flower part), you’d expect a few plants here and there in the office. But CrowdFlower, a project crowdsourcing service, takes natural décor to a new level. In a video titled “So Many Plants,” Chief Technology Officer Chris Van Pelt says, “We strive to make an oxygen-neutral environment.”
Be more productive
According to a UCLA-led study on how a firm's environmental commitment affects its productivity, “companies that voluntarily adopt international ‘green’ practices and standards have employees who are 16 percent more productive than the average.” This, according to the environmental economists who led the study, is a reflection of a change in M.B.A. graduates' attitudes toward potential employers.
UCLA professor and environmental economist Magali Delmas writes, "When you talk now to M.B.A. students, there's a big change in the way they look at their future job. They don't want to work just to make money. They also want to make a difference. There's a little more social consciousness than there was before."
The study offers Patagonia as an example of ‘green’ company that is attracting record number of applicants for each position — 900 on average. On a smaller scale, they cite Ambrose Hotel, a boutique hotel in Santa Monica, California as an employer that adopted environmentally-friendly practices, and as a result, saw a boost in productivity from its workers: “Housekeeping workers reported fewer headaches, allergies and sick days after switching from chemical cleaners to non-toxic, green cleaning products.”
Business turning eco-friendly flies far beyond trendiness and brand reputation — it’s about sustainable and scalable growth, too, especially for companies that directly depend on natural environment for production.
A few years ago, Taylor Guitars drastically altered its methods of ebony sourcing in Cameroon, a change that was not only beneficial to the environment and local economy, but to the company as well. In their words: “Taylor began to develop a fresh framework for sustainable sourcing, one that blends socially responsible forestry with job training that will help Cameroonian communities support themselves and improve their living standards.”
As an employee or consumer, you can play your new Taylor knowing your guitar was ethically sourced. That’s music to everyone’s ears.
Measuring a company’s environmental friendliness is not easy, nor is there a universal way to measure it. But extending unique “green” benefits to employees, such as a bike to work program or decking the office out in plants can not only boost employee morale, it can shape a company’s reputation for doing their part in saving the planet.
Go ahead — go green.
Monster Wants to Know: In your job search, are you looking for 'green' or environmentally-friendly companies? Share with us in the comment section.