Now, more than ever, employees have the power to choose when, where and how they want to work. This puts talent largely in the driver's seat in defining the modern work environment.
One of the biggest demands of this new era is clear: sustainability. HP released a new global study that proves sustainability is no longer nice-to-have, but rather an absolute must-have for the purposes of recruiting, hiring and retaining talent, and ultimately ensuring the longevity of organisations.
Go green or lose me
Of 20,000 participants — including the general population, office workers and office supply decision makers surveyed in 10 countries — 61 percent believe sustainability is mandatory for businesses. In the European countries surveyed, one in three said they would change jobs if their employers didn't implement sustainable business practices.
Fifty-three percent of respondents in Europe were adamant that sustainability should be part of every business strategy, and they said overlooking it would be as bad as ignoring diversity and inclusion. In fact, nearly one in three across Europe were so firm about this, they said they might express dissatisfaction in public forums if their employers were not fully committed to the environment. This was particularly true amongst Millennials.
Sustainable office supplies
The research also underscores how office supplies play a vital role in every business' commitment to sustainability, yet some supply decision makers do not realise that their purchasing choices are actually undercutting sustainability efforts, while increasing costs.
Few recognise that imitation ink and toner can use 40 percent more energy, consume about 55 percent more fossil fuels and cause users to print up to 29 percent more pages to get a clean print.
For instance, more than half of workers surveyed (53 percent) said they didn't realise non-genuine cartridges can't be recycled or reused, meaning that most of them end up in landfills. Yet, virtually all survey respondents said they want brands to proactively provide safe products and reduce environmental impact.
Good for the planet - Good for business
Of equal interest, about 58 percent of European consumers said they would pay more for products from companies that demonstrate their commitment to reducing their environmental impact. That is an important opening for brands and their partners to embrace sustainability, gaining new customers and winning favour with office workers as they do so.
Furthermore, figures released in HP's 2018 Sustainable Impact Report revealed HP's sustainability programmes drove more than £700 million of new revenue, a 35 percent increase year-over-year. HP also set a bold timeline to power its global operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2035 - a feat which has already been realised in the Unites States.
More than 80 percent of HP ink cartridges and 100 percent of HP LaserJet toner cartridges are now manufactured with ‘closed-loop' recycled plastic. Since 2000, more than 90 million kilograms of recycled content plastic have been used in 3.9 billion HP Original ink and toner cartridges. This includes diverting 325,000 kilograms of plastic from reaching the ocean - the equivalent of more than 25 million plastic bottles - and repurposing it into HP cartridges.
In a talent-driven economy that identifies sustainability as a must-have, companies simply cannot afford to look the other way. The bottom line is: every aspect of an organisations existence, from its product portfolio to its office and printing supplies, should play a role in its commitment to sustainability — as doing so will build trust with both customers, as well as current and future employees.