Eco-friendly employee benefits for a sustainable future

Man bikes to work with other professionals behind him in front of office building. Man bikes to work with other professionals behind him in front of office building. Man bikes to work with other professionals behind him in front of office building. Man bikes to work with other professionals behind him in front of office building.

Key takeaways

Today’s American workers expect employers to take environmental action. We’re sharing seven eco-friendly employee benefits that can help employers support the environment and stand out as an employer of choice. 

With the climate crisis and environmental sustainability on everyone’s minds, more businesses are adding eco-friendly employee benefits to their offerings.

Also known as green employee benefits, these perks allow businesses to communicate their company values while making a positive impact on the planet. They can also help businesses boost employee recruitment and retention. CNBC reports:

  • 61% of American workers say they want their company to take a stronger stance on the environment
  • 51% of U.S. workers say they would consider quitting their jobs if the company’s environmental actions don’t align with theirs
  • 77% of Gen Z and Millennial workers say a company’s commitment to the environment is an important factor when considering a new job

What eco-friendly benefits should businesses offer in order to help the planet and stand out as an employer of choice? Here are seven green perks to consider.

1. Remote Work

Not only is working from home popular among workers with 98% expressing desire to work remotely, but it’s also good for the environment. Cornell Chronicle shares that hybrid employees who work from home two to four days per week can reduce their carbon footprint by 11% to 29%.

2. Carpool Incentives

Remote work isn’t possible for all workplaces and roles, but carpooling can help onsite employees reduce their carbon footprint. Companies can incentivize carpooling by facilitating rideshare matching, which helps employees locate other nearby workers who have similar schedules. Companies can offer carpooling employees reduced or free parking, preferred parking, and mileage reimbursement. Employees may also enjoy advantages like less wear and tear on their vehicles, less stress, and time savings.

3. Walk, Run or Cycle to Work Incentives

Businesses may also provide incentives to employees who walk, run, or cycle to work, which could include flex-time schedules, relaxed dress code, financial help to purchase gear, and award points that accumulate for cash prizes.

As an added bonus, biking, running, or walking to work can help improve the health of employees. According to Commuter Connections, an organization working to improve commutes in the Washington, D.C. area, adding physical activity to a commute can help lower employee annual medical costs 5% to 12%, can lower absenteeism, and can increase productivity.

Check out these 4 strategies that support employee mental health.

4. Payroll Giving

A business and its employees can help support environmental organizations through payroll giving. Because donations are deducted right from paychecks, payroll giving makes donating to a cause easier for employees. Plus, payroll giving is an after-tax deduction that can help reduce employees’ taxable income. Many companies will also offer to match employee donations dollar-for-dollar or with a percentage.

5. Paid Environmental Volunteer Days

Giving employees a paid day off each year to volunteer for an environmental organization is an impactful way to support the environment. It also gives employees a welcome break from their usual routine and perhaps the opportunity to spend a day outside in nature.

Read our 6 ways employers can support nursing parents.

6. Green Expense Programs

It’s no secret that sustainable products are often more expensive than conventional products. One straightforward way to help employees make sustainable choices is by helping to cover some of their expenses. Whether through subsidies, reimbursements or stipends, employers can help employees cover the costs of sustainable living. Employees could use money to start a garden at home, make the switch to reusable grocery bags, start composting, or purchase ethical clothing.

7. Local Farm Subscriptions
Providing subscriptions to local farms or farmers markets can help employees eat seasonally and locally, a benefit to both the planet and employee health.

Want more? Check out our blogs, 5 wellness program initiatives to consider in 2024 and Brokers report 4 benefits package changes for 2024.

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