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We know human resource managers already have a slew of duties that accompany their job title, but we’re adding one more: sustainability leader. As Buck Consultants’s Greening of HR report demonstrates, more than 60% of companies are including environmental responsibility as part of their mission statement. Of these companies, approximately 38% have green programs that are spearheaded by human resources.

So what do these 38% know that everyone else has yet to catch on to? Let us tell you. Human resources is essentially the gatekeeper for an organization’s culture. Not only do HR managers set the precedent for personnel behavior through policy and program creation, they also have the power to change the course of an organization through their recruitment practices.

For instance, if a company decides to promote environmental sustainability through share/ride programs, human resources will likely be the department to cultivate such an opportunity. Likewise, employee training programs pertaining to green practices will also originate from HR. In this way, HR serves as the facilitator for all things green within an organization’s existing workforce.

However, in addition to influencing the existing team of employees, human resource managers are also the most instrumental members of an organization when it comes to incoming candidates. Recruiters in the HR department have the power to further foster a firm’s green attitude by incorporating environmentally friendly traits into their candidate benchmarking profiles. During interviews, they can investigate to determine whether or not potential employees will positively impact the organization’s environmental attitude.

So while you may think we’re crazy for tacking on more responsibilities, you can see why HR needs to be at the forefront of the green movement. Your company, and the world, is counting on it!

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