Lets line up efficiency bonuses with the principles of sustainability

An employee incentivised performance scheme is a tricky system to structure, you want your employees to not only do well at the jobs they are assigned but also enjoy and feel passionate about the working environment that they are in, no matter how much money you throw at people if they do not enjoy work they will not give you their best creative material. Look at the world of finance for instance, you have a situation where employees are given massive incentives to make more and more money for these companies and the result is that they have created the weapons that could be the downfall of our modern day economy. They have not looked at the best outcomes for their companies i.e. Lehman Brothers but rather how can they personally get rich quick, so what is the answer to get people to work smarter, harder all with the best interests of the company at heart?

Business sustainability; rewarding your employees for making your business more efficient and your products more desirable to consumers is a great base for your incentive structure, reward your employees for making your business and products consume less resources. This way not only are you giving your business a long term future by becoming a resource light operation and grabbing hold of the new green product movement but you are also providing a cause for your employees to rally behind making them feel like they are making a difference and in turn fuelling their passion for their working environment.

A Smart Planet article, Intel rewards employees for thinking sustainable. Do you?, explores one company’s journey to align the interests of its internal stakeholders.  By placing incentive and reward structures that encourage creativity and action related to sustainability projects, Intel is going beyond the “feel-good” projects.

“Intel’s employee bonus and compensation structure includes metrics that are tied to the company’s overall environmental performance, which is certainly a motivating factor. The company has actually been doing this since 2008; in 2010, the specific focus was on carbon emissions reductions in its operations and energy-efficiency goals for new products.” - Suzanne Fallender, Intel’s Director of CSR Strategy & Communications.

Intel amoung other things has created something called the Intel Environmental Excellence Awards. The awards recognize projects that help reduce the overall company’s environmental impact, including LEED certification efforts, recycling initiatives, waste reduction and so on. An example out of Ireland: by changing the number of times filters were changed in certain scanner tools, the facility saved 350,000 gallons of water and more than $500,000 related to waste reduction. Intel figures that the projects from 2010 saved $136 million.

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