Suzie Ruffley, Global Head of People & Sustainable Culture at Foresight Group, discusses Sustainable Culture and its impact.
Suzie is an Occupational Psychologist with a wealth of experience and a passion for human capital. With dual MSc’s in Occupational Psychology and Coaching Psychology, she brings a dynamic perspective to her role as the Global Head of People and Sustainable Culture at Foresight Group. Having dedicated over 18 years to this field, Suzie’s expertise is evident in her impressive track record. She has been an integral part of Foresight Group for more than 6 years, contributing to the company’s remarkable growth from 100 to nearly 400 employees. Suzie’s current focus is on spearheading Foresight Sustainability Partnering (FSP), a pioneering sustainability consultancy arm of the business. This venture aligns with her dedication to creating a sustainable culture within the organisation and beyond.
Suzie Ruffley: It is vital for Foresight and the industry as a whole to lead the way in and role modelling best practices and behaviours and operating in a sustainable way. Having a sustainable culture, provides the best workplace environment and a competitive advantage. It enables long-term value creation by promoting investment strategies aligned with sustainable development goals, resulting in both financial returns and positive societal impact.
Moreover, it enhances the company’s reputation and increases stakeholder engagement by demonstrating a strong commitment to sustainability. Embracing a sustainable culture meets the growing investor demand for sustainable investment options, attracting and retaining investors who prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. It also encompasses risk management by considering ESG factors, allowing organisations to identify and mitigate long-term risks.
Suzie Ruffley: To create and maintain a sustainable culture, leaders must demonstrate genuine commitment to sustainability and effectively communicate its importance throughout the organisation. Clear and measurable sustainability goals should be established, aligned with the organisation’s values and covering areas such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, employee well-being, and community engagement. Sustainability should be integrated into the employee experience, starting from the onboarding stage and touching every aspect of their journey. Encouraging employee engagement and involvement is crucial. Employees should be encouraged to contribute ideas and provide feedback on sustainability initiatives through channels such as meetings, engagement surveys, or dedicated committees.
Suzie Ruffley: Recognising and rewarding sustainable practices is important. Setting objectives based on sustainability and rewarding achievements based on those objectives motivates employees and demonstrates the company’s commitment to sustainability. Acknowledging individuals and teams that demonstrate commitment to sustainability and celebrating their achievements further reinforces the company’s dedication to sustainability.
Continual improvement is key to maintaining a sustainable culture. Regularly reviewing and revisiting sustainability practices and goals allows for adaptation to changing circumstances, emerging trends, and new technologies, ensuring that the organisation remains at the forefront of sustainable practices. Lastly, effective communication and transparency are paramount. Companies must be able to effectively communicate their sustainability efforts and progress both internally and externally. Sharing success stories, challenges, and lessons learned inspires and engages stakeholders. Being transparent about performance and goals fosters trust and demonstrates the company’s commitment to sustainability.
Suzie Ruffley: When a business successfully embraces a sustainable culture, it can have a significant impact on the business itself and its people. It can greatly improve reputation and brand value by having a strong sustainable culture being positioned as a responsible and forward-thinking organisation. This can attract customers, investors, and top talent who align with the company’s values, leading to increased brand value and market competitiveness.
Sustainable practices often lead to cost savings through reduced energy consumption, waste reduction, and optimised resource management. By implementing sustainable initiatives, businesses can streamline operations, lower expenses, and improve overall efficiency. A sustainable culture fosters innovation and encourages employees to think creatively in addressing sustainability challenges.
This can result in the development of new products, services, and business models that meet evolving customer demands and create new market opportunities.
Suzie Ruffley: A sustainable culture boosts employee morale and engagement, when employees feel their work aligns with their values and contributes to a greater purpose, they are more motivated, productive, and loyal to the organisation. It means you will also attract and retain top talent who increasingly seek meaningful work.