A number of leading companies are linking the professional development of employees and career growth with their work in the area of sustainability and environment. The recent Commit!Forum conference in New York, presented by CR Magazine, saw this theme put forward by a range of corporate sustainability and human resource executives.
IBM, for instance, counts certain types of volunteer work, including participation in its Corporate Service Corps program and the Smarter Cities Challenge, towards the 40-hour annual requirement of employees for continuing education and career development. Participants in these programs regularly report that they are the most successful educational or leadership programs that they have experienced.
SAP has been running a sabbatical program for the last two years, which has received enthusiastic response from the participants during its latest round of projects in Brazil and South Africa this year. The program is fast becoming an integral part of the career growth path of the company’s future leaders.
There is a growing trend to treat sustainability as a strategic investment among corporate groups. Many of the nearly 200 companies that are part of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy now offer paid-release time options or an outside company volunteer program. These companies focus on addressing sustainability issues quite like they would focus on a business investment.
PepsiCo is another company apart from IBM and SAP that has developed specific frameworks that help ensure a diverse range of skills, from legal expertise, consulting know-how, communications skills to research and development experience, are represented on volunteer projects. Project participants work closely to refine their objectives beforehand, and similarly go through a debriefing period on return. MTV is also encouraging its employees to work in the areas of sustainability and creating opportunities for them to work on a pro bono basis with nonprofit groups.
Source: Green Biz
Image Credit: Flickr via Grenty
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