22 May 2013 — New research shows that sustainability is an increasingly critical factor in attracting, engaging and retaining the best of the best.

Harvard Business Review has pointed to a growing number of “sustainability enthusiasts” who see sustainability as a key factor in job choices, and are even willing to accept lower remuneration to work for employers who are aligned with their beliefs.

The research, conducted by Bain & Company, showed that two-thirds of surveyed employees cared more about sustainability than they did three years ago, with almost as many saying sustainable business was extremely important.

Employees said they expected their employers to take a leadership role in improving sustainability, more than they did consumers, employees, the government or all equally.

Employees also wanted an active role in developing their companies’ sustainability strategies. Half of young employees and three-quarters of “sustainability enthusiasts” expected to help shape their company’s approach to sustainability.

However, the survey showed that companies weren’t meeting the enthusiasm of their staff towards the issue, with only one-third of respondents saying their company was a leader.

In contrast to five years ago, employees cared more about their companies’ sustainability efforts than they did their philanthropic activities.