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GREEN HRM – POLICIES & PRACTICES

G. David Raju MBA, M.Phil., (Ph.D.)
Asst. Prof. Dept. of Business Administration, KBN College PG Centre, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh – 520 010. Email: davidgollapudi@yahoo.co.in Mobile: 094404 27797

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Meaning: The term „Green HR‟ is most often used to refer to the contribution of people management policies and practices towards the broader corporate environmental agenda. HR professional cannot wait for others like production or supply chain department or the engineering team will initiate the program. In addition. Most interesting thing is HR professionals in the organization are not only aware about this rather they start working for it. and auditing employee benefits to eliminate those that are environmentally damaging (e. green work-life balance concept. we are moving from an industrial-based financial system to a talent based economy. more generally. It‟s part of CSR and HR has to launch it now. Typical green activities include video recruiting. especially the HR department must be quick to react to consumer concerns about any aspect of their business which could be deemed unethical. HR is never going to have a truly significant impact on a business through the improvement of HR processes alone so the greater opportunity is to contribute to the green agenda of the business as a whole. Green HR Policies.g. promote the cause of environmentalism. Green HRM involves the use of HRM policies to promote the sustainable use of resources within business organizations and. Green rewards can include the use of workplace and lifestyle benefits. the main environmental focus of many businesses was placed on reducing waste and optimizing resources. there are many opportunities here too. There is also a broader opportunity to engage the workforce given that more and more people seek meaning and self-actualization in their jobs. The environmental lobby is so pervasive that organization. salary reviews and so on. . or the use of online and video interviews. 2009) in which companies need to balance between industrial growth and safeguarding the natural environment so that future generation may thrive (Daily and Huang. while continuing to recognize their contribution. Effective downsizing. training in working methods that reduce the use of energy and other resources. during the recession. car sharing. ranging from carbon credit offsets to free bicycles. promoting and incentivizing more sustainable means of travel to work (e. unnecessary provision of a high powered company car).g. partners etc. 2001). While many employees often feel it is not their responsibility to protect the environment while they are at work. Key words: Green Management Initiatives. Society and business see their agenda align. Green HR Activities *** Introduction Green awareness is not a new topic from last few years. Recent times. While there is definitely a substantial amount of „green washing‟ occurring in reducing waste. it is destined to increase again as businesses increase production and other business activities. Other simple green actions include minimizing the amount of printed materials used in performance management. The kinds of action take within green HRM initiatives include educating employees about climate change and other environmental issues. consumers demand ethics and environmental credentials as a top priority. the new workforce of millennials are emphasizing environmental consciousness as they chose their employers. to minimize Travel requirements. to engage people in the green agenda.Abstract Across the globe. public transport). However. Knowledge Capital. stakeholders. Environmentally conscious organizations will become increasingly prominent as we re-enter into a period of growth. cycling. HR department have to drive corporate behavior towards more environment friendly path. HR professionals in organization can develop a powerful social conscience and green sense of responsibility internal and external customers. Definition Green management is defined as the process whereby companies manage the environment by developing environmental management strategies (Lee. Environmental Management Strategies (EMS). We are also entering a green economy – one in which consumer and employee expectations and future environmental change will require businesses to address “green” issues. While CO2 growth may have stabilized during the recession.

preserving. situational. It is argued that an environmental culture is needed to socialize employees according to a company‟s environmental strategy. Green human resource activities do not necessarily have to take place within the scope of environmental management systems. As Wehrmeyer (1996. and it has gone beyond regulatory compliance and needs to include conceptual tools such as pollution prevention. These standards can be helpful for companies to systematically implement. 2001. p. 7) already stated in the mid-nineties: “If a company is to adopt an environmentally. Efficiency afforded by the “Green HR” model can lower operational costs and enables industry professionals to better utilize their investment in knowledge capital. to advance communication and interaction processes (e. Environmental management systems – such as EMAS or ISO 14001 – are holistic and complex intervention mechanisms which have the potential to address multiple factors successfully. They argue that top management support. Collective capabilities are mainly discussed in relation to cultural characteristics of the company that are considered significant in either restraining or advancing the corporate greening process. Siegel. green management refers to the management of corporate interaction with. They are not immune to gaps between “rhetoric and reality”. These factors are not only considered by Green HRM but also by environmental management.aware approach to its activities. the employees are the key to its success or failure”. In summary. employee empowerment and reward systems are crucial for implementing successful environmental management systems. ESSENTIALS OF GREEN HRM Green HR is one which involves two essential elements: environmentally friendly HR practices and the preservation of knowledge capital. 2003). furloughs. interactional. environmental trainings. video conferencing and interviews. If they have high expectations concerning their environmental performance. Steger. Green HR initiatives help companies find alternative ways to cut cost without losing their top talent..“Green HR” is an employment model designed to assist industry professionals in retaining. etc. control and improve environmental activities including Green HR activities (Daily & Huang. All companies that strive for environmental protection are well advised to pay attention to their employees. Companies are quick to layoff when times are tough before realizing the future implications of losing that knowledge capital. Green HR involves reducing your carbon footprint via less printing of paper. 2005. Pullman et al. etc. POLICIES Green HR policies focus on collective and individual capabilities to bring about green behaviour. for instance. the environment (Lee and Ball. recalling. Building on the assumption that culture can be managed at all. 2000). team work. Green HR policies are aimed at promoting an environmental corporate culture. product stewardship and corporate social responsibility (Hart. cultural and structural factors influence employees‟ environmental behaviour in the company. and developing talent needed to ensure future business initiatives and strategies are met. Daily and Huang (2001) have emphasized decisive human resource factors according to the key categories of the ISO 14001 guideline. 2009). It is suggested. and impact upon. individual behavioural changes are assumed to be most likely. it is especially important for them to transform aspirations and good intentions into actual everyday behaviour. It can be said that companies with environmental management systems are particularly dependent on elaborated Green HR policies. the range of possible green human resource interventions is much wider.g. feedback and exchange 3 . Even though these activities can be perceived as highly relevant. Once an environmental corporate culture is formed. 2009. Scope & limits of Green HRM A complex interplay of individual. part time work.

but now it is no longer valid. review and improvement (Hersey. GREEN MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES In the past. 1993.. 2003). instructions for new devices. Thus. planning. by setting up specific trainings and further education programs. 2010. An On the other hand. but also 4 . implementation. Environmental trainings at the workplace might include. especially in the area of HRM.. the new strategic issue. measurement and evaluation. and by implementing appraisal tools or reward systems. 2009). Ozen and Kusku. and in turn. strategic tool known as an EMS to gain competitive advantage (Daily and Huang. 2001. 2001). or corporate codes of conduct.  Application of innovative technology could alleviate the environmental deterioration by developing. 1998).  EMS includes commitment and policy. Employees learn different kinds of behaviour not exclusively at the workplace. Organization generally organizes HR practices into systems that are consistent with their culture and business strategy (Boselie et al. (1993) argued that in order to carry out green management. 2003). The concept offers chances not only for the environment.mechanisms) or to extend employee participation and employee involvement with regards to environmental issues. Renwick et al. Many researchers agreed that HRM is the most effective tools which contribute to the creation of human capital. empowered and environmentally aware of greening to be successful. corporations require a high level of technical and management skills (Callenbach et. which help to advance employees‟ environmental performance. business should put more effort into the research on innovative technology to minimize the impacts of environmental destruction by creating products that are nontoxic and less pollution to environment (Liu. Florida and Davison. 2001). Paauwe and Boselie.. for example. employees‟ motivation and their commitment to the company and its environmental ambitions. sound economic performance of the firm was expected to guarantee corporate success by companies and its shareholders. This system provides a structure that allows management of the firms the ability to better control the firm‟s environmental impacts (Barnes. they contribute most of the carbon footprints in the past (Liu. Green HR policies also focus on individual learning and the personal environmental competences of employees. and in fact.  Business firms play a key role in the issues of environmental management since they are part of our society and cannot be isolated from the environment. the biotech products and by searching for alternative energy to reduce the use of finite natural resources. contributes to organizational performance and competitive advantage (Boselie et al. Since reciprocal interactions between working life and private life occur. Paauwe and Boselie.. 2008). These cultural improvements are assumed to increase. argued that the effectiveness and successful in any management innovation and strategic tools are defending on the availability and ability of their human resources employed in the strategic manners (Boselie et al. employee must be inspired. GREEN HRM . to effectively implement green management initiatives and fostering environmental innovations. Currently. 1996.HR FACTORS AFFECTING GREEN MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES Many researchers. A new perspective for Green HRM Green HRM can meet its full potential only by considering employees in their twofold role as producers and consumers. al. 2010). environmental law issues. a “green work-life balance concept” is suggested to facilitate environmentally friendly behaviour in both life domains. 2001).. but also in private life. 2001). Callenbach et al. economic and financial outcomes need to be accompanied by minimization of ecological footprints and increased attention to social and environmental aspects. many corporations are implementing a proactive. for instance.  This concept becomes a strategic dominant issue for businesses. 2008). especially multinational enterprises operating their business globally (Banerjee. corporate environmentalism or green management emerged in1990s and became a popular slogan internationally in 2000s (Lee. for instance. Therefore. for instance. 2001.

Collect food and donations for victims of floods. recognize departmental efforts. Green HR in 2013 HR Green in 2013 is an exciting new initiative to retire paper-based processes and install automated end-to-end processing in the Human Resources area. and offered a process model and research agenda forward in Green HRM. (Laptops consume up to 90% less power. Recycle paper. Reducing each employee‟s carbon footprint is a great way of getting energy conservation and recycling waste initiatives off the ground. encourage staggered staffing to allow after rush hour transit. HR is working closely with University clients and IT professionals in CITS on a three year program of business process improvement activities. subsidize transit passes. The value inherent in embracing green aspects of corporate responsibility is clearly understood. and permit telecommuting to the degree possible. 2. 7. For employers and practitioners. work motivation and job retention. they may help them lobby employers to adopt Green HRM policies and practices that help safeguard and enhance worker health and well-being.for the company and its employees by increasing. Here are suggestions to start: 1. 4. make it easy for employees to car pool. these may be to establish the usefulness of linking employee involvement and participation in environmental management programmes to improved organizational environmental performance. while promoting and encouraging stewardship growth. The aim is to improve human resource management processes through the use of the very best administration technology. Goals and objectives of Green HRM:      Retire burdensome paper-based processes and improve productivity Better meet and respond to our client demands Reduce turnaround times Improve the look and feel of the workspace Reduce costs/paper consumption IMPLEMENT AND ENCOURAGE GREEN PRACTICES FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Implement green practices to assist in environmental waste reduction. In conclusion.) Increase the use of teleconferencing. perhaps via a specific focus on waste management and recycling. However. Work with IT to switch to laptops over desktop computers. hurricanes and other natural disasters around the globe. Encourage shutting off lights. better corporate ethics and long-lasting practices that promote both personal and corporate accountability. rather than on-site meetings and trips. 3. too. given the direct impact that rising energy and utility costs has on employees‟ pocket books. for example. Encourage reduced energy consumption. 5 . 5. for unions and employees. Conservation has become an accepted means of making our planet healthier. CONCLUSION This has reviewed the literature on environmental management (EM) and HRM. computers and printers after work hours and on weekends for further energy reductions. challenges like employees‟ reactance to allow corporate influence on private life need to be addressed. they may reveal additional data to add an HRM element to the knowledge base on Green Management in general. Promote brown-bagging in the office to help employees reduce fat and calories to live healthier lives and reduce packaging waste. and for academics. 6. cans and bottles in the office. future research into Green HRM may provide interesting results for all stakeholders in HRM.

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