The New Metrics of Sustainable Business Conference

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September 26, 2012      
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Green Companies Have More Productive Employees

Firms that have adopted environmental standards such as ISO 14001 have significantly more productive workers than other firms. This is the key finding of a paper published this month in the Journal of Organizational Behavior. The paper, which is based on a study of 5220 French firms and their employees, also demonstrates that employees at companies following environmental standards tend to be better trained and have a greater degree of interpersonal contact at work — factors that can improve labor productivity.

I've written before that some companies believe their embrace of sustainability helps engage employees in the company's broader mission. Firms see a prominent sustainability program as an aid to employee recruitment and retention and a way of enhancing employee productivity. Indeed, the paper found that companies that had adopted environmental standards enjoyed labor productivity 16% to 21% greater than companies that had not implemented such standards.

How Company Efforts to Obtain Supplier Sustainability Data Will Change

Why do green companies have more productive employees? The study points out that implementing environmental standards requires an investment in employee training, which tends to lift productivity. It also notes that ...

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