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How companies can introduce sustainable employee benefits (updated 2023)

The way we live and shop has changed dramatically in recent years, resulting in growing trends surrounding environmental awareness. Supporting local businesses and reducing carbon footprints are on people’s minds as they strive to become more eco-conscious. Environmental responsibility now has an impact on the way we work, including employee benefits trends. As the youngest generation in the workforce, Gen Zs have their sights set on sustainable employee benefits.

But how does a company create a green employee benefits package that reflects its ethos and values? In this Pacific Prime UK article, we explore how companies can introduce employee benefits packages that are sustainable in more ways than one.

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Why greener employee benefits packages matter

Employee benefits continue to evolve with the needs of the workforce. The changing nature of employee benefits reflects how people choose their jobs and what employers have to do to attract and retain top talent. While health, well-being, and financial benefits are still central, it’ll take more than that to work with the best.

To get an idea of where employee benefits trends are heading, it’s important to look at the attitudes of employees – especially those entering the workforce. According to Deloitte’s Global Millennials and Gen Z Survey, 44% of Millenials and 49% of Gen Zs allow their personal values to dictate what type of work they do and what organisations they work for. Additionally, The Purpose Pulse 2020 Report found that 71% of Millennials and Gen Zs see climate change as the biggest challenge facing their generation.

Above any other issue, workers want companies that positively impact the environment. This tells employers something they need to know about the direction to take their employee benefits offerings – companies that want to attract and retain the best talent will have to take action towards climate change. A meaningful, sustainable benefits package is a great place to start.

Ways to introduce eco-friendly employee benefits

As the demand for more meaningful and sustainable workplaces grows, how can employers respond? Here are some ways companies can create more environmentally friendly employee benefits schemes.

Remote working

Flexible working arrangements are becoming increasingly common for employers to offer their workforce. This perk shows employees that a company is forward-thinking and makes it easier for them to achieve work-life balance. On top of that, it builds a company’s green credentials. Employees that don’t have to commute to the office every day help reduce collective emissions. Plus, this benefit helps them save money too, making it a win-win for all.

Work from home perks

With hybrid workforces here to stay, companies are looking for ways to extend green initiatives offered at work so employees can also be more eco-conscious at home. When it comes to eco-friendly solutions at home, energy efficiency takes the lead. One way that companies can support energy efficiency is through sustainability programmes, including discounts on:

  • Solar insulations
  • Green energy tariffs
  • Appliance rebates
  • Home energy assessment subsides
  • Sustainable waste management (e.g. composting supplies)

Reducing food waste is also happening on a global scale. Connecting employees with local businesses, as well as one another, allows for food to be shared. Not only does this help reduce food waste, but it can also help with team building as well. Food sharing apps such as OLIO make it easy for everyone to get on board.

Greener commutes

Working remotely is undoubtedly an effective way to reduce carbon footprints. However, returning to the office is inevitable for some. It goes without saying that minimising flying helps cut CO2, which is why companies are investing in travel perks. Cycle to work and walking perks are good ways to drop emissions and encourage employees to exercise simultaneously.

Electric vehicles, carsharing and carpooling are other initiatives worth investing in. By rewarding employees with incentives and perks as part of their benefits packages, commutes can be greener and new, healthier habits can be formed.

Travel coverage

Businesses of all sizes can have a hard time lowering carbon emissions to a level that’s deemed acceptable, especially when it comes to international travel. Sometimes video conference calls simply won’t do and someone has to travel to meet clients or business partners face to face. Even so, there are ways you can reduce emissions during these meetings.

One way is by covering the cost of travel insurance for key team members. Most standard travel insurance policies will cover you for 31 days, though this depends on the insurance provider and policy. Where this can be arranged, you could send them for the entire insurance coverage period to attend all those meetings in a single round trip instead of sending them on multiple trips throughout the year – thereby significantly reducing environmental impact while travelling.

Sustainable flex allowances

Sustainable benefits are something entirely new to most companies. For greater flexibility and to evaluate which benefits are most suitable, some employers offer flexible allowance packages that employees can use towards a sustainability initiative of their choosing – which is similar to flexible benefits in a health insurance account. Along with previously mentioned benefits like home energy assessment subsidies and sustainable waste management products, other benefit options to choose from may include:

  • Energy-efficient transportation incentives
  • Sustainable food product discounts and/or management options

As an employer, you can get as creative as you like when designing these packages. While there isn’t necessarily a right way to do it, the goal is to align the benefits with your company’s values and interests. These days, forward-thinking companies are looking to make lasting positive impacts, and benefits that extend beyond the workplace can play an integral role in that.

Make the most of your employee benefits with Pacific Prime UK

Whether you’re looking for help with your employee benefits in the UK or corporate health insurance in the UK, you can look to Pacific Prime UK for the solutions. As a leading employee benefits specialist and health insurance broker, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you get exactly what you’re looking for. Arrange a free consultation with our team of advisors today.

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Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime UK
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs