Employees across Asia Pacific want greater representation in their companies' sustainability initiatives, with the majority feeling disengaged from their employers' environmental and social agenda. According to JLL, 65 per cent are not aware of their companies' carbon reduction goals and 60 per cent said their companies do not involve them in green initiatives. In addition, 50 per cent of employees expressed a desire to contribute to sustainability agendas to meet future carbon reduction targets, identifying real estate as a major catalyst for carbon reduction
The findings were published in the JLL Asia Pacific "Sustainability in the built environment: An employee perspective" report, which surveyed 1,200 employees, aged between 21 and 45, across the region.
JLL analysis found that employees believe the built environment will be instrumental in supporting employee and employer sustainability expectations and goals across Asia Pacific. Approximately 70 per cent of employees believe that offices can be highly impactful in reducing carbon emissions and 90 per cent see residential buildings as a catalyst to enhance urban greenery.
"In their pursuit of sustainability, businesses in Asia Pacific must ensure that their corporate goals are closely aligned with the goals of their employees. What we've learned is that a gap exists between the expectations of employees and the actions of employers on sustainable initiatives across Asia Pacific. At JLL, our commitment to shaping the future of real estate for a better world aligns with our ability to use this actionable data and research to more effectively advise our clients on meeting the growing sustainability demands of employees," said Anthony Couse, Chief Executive Officer, APAC, JLL.
According to the report, seven in 10 employees believe that sustainability initiatives are a must for businesses today and 75 per cent expect their companies to follow sustainable business practices, creating implications for talent attraction and retention. These expectations are a determining factor when choosing which company to work for - especially among younger employees. Half of those polled would choose a sustainability leader as their future employer when weighing up career opportunities. But 78% of employees aged 21 to 30 want to work for a company that actively involves employees in sustainability efforts, while 64% of respondents aged 31 to 40 share this view.
With employees passionate about sustainability and eager to contribute, businesses can boost engagement by involving workers in their sustainability agenda, JLL concludes. Six in 10 employees believe that sustainability is a key factor for engaging the workforce - which means that business leaders must create opportunities for employees to participate in corporate sustainability efforts.
Roddy Allan, Chief Research Officer, JLL Asia Pacific, commented, "Real estate plays a crucial role in laying out the pathway to a sustainable future, as office and residential buildings are instrumental in reducing carbon emissions. Increasingly we will see businesses investing in sustainable real estate or leasing office spaces in green buildings as part of their sustainability strategy, which will ultimately improve employee engagement and retention."
JLL's "Sustainability in the built environment: An employee perspective" report was based on an online study of 1,200 employees across the Asia Pacific region, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Mainland China, India, and Australia. Respondents were aged between 21 and 45 years old and represented a range of industries such as technology (15%), manufacturing (14%); banking, financial services and insurance (11%); life sciences (7%); consumer goods (7%); and the public sector (7%).