ESG and how to get your teams behind you

Sustainability or ESG is never the job of one Sustainability Director or one CEO. It always requires everyone at a company to understand, implement and promote a better way of doing business. But, how do you get teams behind a different way of thinking, when the status quo seems like the easiest option? Phoebe Davey from shares some tips on how to create a movement within your company to, in turn, make a positive change for your business, society and the environment.


Engaging your employees is one of the most critical factors in successfully implementing a sustainability strategy.

In fact, it is only through decisive and effective engagement throughout an organisation that strategies can create true impact.

For this reason Unilever, a household name and seen as a leader in sustainability for some of the brands that it owns, has adopted the phrase "small actions can make a big difference".

It aims to proactively engage employees at each stage of the sustainability strategy as it understands that sustainability must become everyone's job in order to be effective and, in-turn, help the business be sustainable beyond quarterly financial results.

Engagement in sustainability gives employees purpose in the company and its objectives. It gives meaning behind what had before been a high level strategy which they may have felt personally disconnected from, allowing them to align their own values with the direction of the company.

Effective engagement also motivates employees to do better and grow in their efforts to create impact. Indeed, it creates a directive drive for action both in the workplace and in employees' lives at home, inspiring new impactful behaviours.

Four key actions for engaging employees

Redefine your company’s purpose beyond just profit.

In order to engage your employees with your sustainability strategy, they need to feel that their work and the company's purpose are all aligned. Redefining your company’s objectives and asking how you make your money and why your company exists is crucial to this.

Is it just about money? Or are you standing for something more than just short term profit?

It is also important to make this purpose simple and relatable. Your employees should be able to immediately understand it and where they fit within it.

Foster knowledge growth around business, environmental and social impact

Sustainability and your company's impact should be incorporated into every one of your employees' and partners' work.

By doing this, you can ensure that providing solid training and education to foster knowledge growth helps change happen.

Sustainability training is not just about specialist knowledge for those who work in certain areas. It means providing a baseline understanding of impact and its importance across your organisation, which includes how and why it impacts different areas.

DigitalRG provides various training modules ESG, responsible gaming or environmental impact from the industry. But critically, it is important to measure satisfaction and knowledge growth through tests and continuously adapt content to suit fast changing needs to maintain your company’s relevance.

Engage everyone

Sustainability should not be confined to a ‘CSR department’ or one taskforce. It should not only include those who have expertise.

For your strategy to succeed, everyone should be a sustainability leader with knowledge behind their actions, allowing them to grow and develop to do better every day. It is this entire organisational outlook which has enabled companies such as Patagonia to become sustainability leaders.

An example should be set by the chief executive and top management. Not only is their buy-in essential for systemic changes to be made but this encourages employees that efforts are not just for PR purposes.

Create incentives 

Incentivising your employees' engagement is a great way to instigate commitment but also a great way to keep engagement fun.

One way this can be done is through creating healthy competition on different projects. Setting group prizes for meeting goals will help build teamwork and create cohesion, while incentivising people to engage with the company’s sustainability goals.

This allows you to measure the actions used to meet your objectives but also celebrate the successes of meeting your goals.

Incentivising sustainability has also seen growth within top level management with companies now linking executive pay to sustainability metrics.

The UK’s Royal Mail, in 2019, introduced a bonus structure based on 75% financial and 25%  non-financial metrics. Apple announced in January 2021 that it would be increasing/decreasing executive bonuses based on meeting ESG goals. The benefits of these types of incentives have consequences throughout the company, from ensuring executives place sustainability as a priority, to making employees believe in the company's sustainability goals, to creating loyalty from customers. It also prevents short-term profit-only goals trumping long-term goals with sustainability outlooks. Though the benefits are numerous, this is a less than common practice within the gaming industry, and clearly therefore an area which it needs to catch up in.

Engaging your employees and partners throughout your organisation is key to your sustainability strategy succeeding and it does not have to be difficult. With the right strategies in place, employees will align themselves with the strategy as they feel a sense of ownership for its success. Together this creates true impact and greater moves forward within the sustainability arena.

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In order to understand the key issues on which the industry needs to focus, click here to do a personalised materiality assessment [] This will be used as part of the ICE365 Materiality Matrix, in collaboration with DigitalRG, to create the most accurate picture of the ESG elements the gambling industry will prioritise in the year ahead. is the only membership-platform helping the industry do well by doing good. It provides the necessary steps and tools to:  Understand your social and environmental impact, define tailored ESG objectives and related action plan, train team members & partners and measure effectiveness, report and achieve certifications. believes companies need to be part of the solution for a more sustainable planet for all.