Doing the right thing: accelerating the transition to a net zero future

4 min read | Paul Gosling | Article | Corporate social responsibility | Sustainability

NetZero Future

What does it mean to ‘do the right thing’? It’s something that we constantly strive to do at Hays, but in an increasingly complex world, the answer to this question is multi-faceted, to say the least.

For some organisations, doing the right thing may mean being fair and honest to their customers. For others, it may mean giving back to local communities or doing their part to tackle climate change. At Hays, we endeavour to always act in the best interests of our customers and the communities in which we work. People are at the centre of what we do, so it’s essential that a strong environmental purpose underpins our business narrative.

Our commitment to a net zero future

Over the past few years, we’ve made great progress on our sustainability commitments. We’ve launched a sustainability framework that focuses on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas, including how we’re transitioning for the environment. However, we understand that there’s always more that can be done. As a leadership partner to our clients, we also have an important role to play in inspiring them to embed more sustainable practices into their daily operations.

We’re committed to achieving a net zero future and have launched multiple initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions in pursuit of our reduction targets. We’ve pledged to halve scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2026 and scope 3 emissions by 2030 (with 2020 as a base year) and these commitments were approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative last year.

It’s deeply important that we’re able to display a sense of cohesion and environmental awareness with the communities we serve. As part of our ‘tech into schools’ initiative, we partnered with tech recycling company S2S and donated hundreds of computers to schools, reducing e-waste while also empowering young learners. Synergising our social and environmental efforts is an effective way of delivering positive outcomes, and we’ll be exploring further opportunities to do this going forward.

Proud to sponsor the Net Zero Festival

We’re delighted to have sponsored this year’s Net Zero Festival in London – a two-day event that attracted over 2,000 visitors, from business executives to campaigners. Over 100 speakers came together to deliver more than 50 insightful sessions on how we can work together to accelerate the net zero transition.

At the festival, I delivered the workshop ‘The Climb: Growing Your Career & Becoming a Chief Sustainability Officer’ alongside Munish Datta, Director of Sustainability at Specsavers, and Anna Lungley, Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and former Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) for International Markets at Dentsu.

In the session, we explored what the role of CSO looks like within different organisations and we discussed the pros and cons of companies creating senior sustainability positions versus focusing on embedding sustainable practices across every department and business function.

We also touched on why it’s important for professionals to develop both the technical and interpersonal skills needed to deliver sustainable change across an entire organisation and how this can be achieved through informal peer-to-peer learning, alongside more formal sustainability training and other upskilling opportunities.

The festival highlighted that we need experts across all industries to work together to devise innovative solutions to climate issues and explore creative ideas for how we can accelerate the transition to a greener, cheaper and fairer future for all.

Are you looking to secure top talent to deliver on your organisation’s sustainability agenda? Are you a professional looking to further your career in the sustainability space? Take a look at our experts in sustainability hub for industry insights, career advice and more.


About this author

Paul Gosling, National Director for Sustainability Recruitment, Hays

Paul has been a specialist recruiter in environment and sustainability for over 25 years. He started recruiting into the sector in 1995 after finishing his BSc in Environmental Science and he’s worked with thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies over the past 20-plus years to support their growth and development in this dynamic and critically important sector.

During this time, Paul has built a wealth of knowledge and he’s recognised as a leading expert on overcoming the unique recruitment challenges facing the environment and sustainability sector.

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