UN Global Goals

Embracing sustainability practices within your organisation can seem difficult; with so many moving parts, operations and services, reaching your sustainability goals needs to be a team effort.

We spoke to our Sustainability Executive, Jack Nove, about how he works to boost engagement throughout the Techbuyer facilities to deliver a bigger impact for our efforts.  

Jack completed his MSc in Sustainability and Consultancy in 2021.  

Can you tell us about your research into sustainability engagement that formed your MSc degree?  

My degree covered sustainability and its application in organisations and projects, focussing mostly on core sustainability concepts, theories of change, and consultancy techniques.

My 3-month research project explored how employee engagement with sustainability initiatives could be enhanced at NHS Digital. I was looking into things like how we could frame and communicate climate change and mitigation / adaptation activities in ways that would motivate employees (including those who did not believe it was real) to engage with NHS Digital’s plans.

What advice do you have for organisations trying to get their employees more involved with sustainability?  

The key thing here is that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The most useful first step I took was to understand employees’ feelings first. I surveyed them to gauge their existing thoughts towards climate change and sustainability, and I tailored the findings to the results.

This helped me understand whether the focus needed to be on education about climate change (addressing the specific reasons why some people did not believe in it) or whether it should look more on the impacts and what we can do about them.

How do you work to improve engagement within Techbuyer?

This is something I am keen to work on more in the next year. At the minute, it is done through the sustainability committee (which we are currently expanding) and other ad-hoc activities and events (e.g., Your Harrogate and TNMOC).

We also promote sustainability education internally through information sharing and training, most recently via the certified IEMA sustainability skills for the workforce training. This training provision is now available to all UK employees.  

How have the Global Goals boosted employee engagement?

A couple of key ways: 

  • They enable employees to see the impact of their activities (e.g., diverting e-waste from landfill) and understand how this all ties into UN sustainability strategies  
  • They act as a motivator for change throughout the organisation (e.g., to help sign off donations / employee time for non-commercial projects) 

What would you suggest for smaller organisations looking to get involved with the Global Goals?

There is no downside to doing it:  

  • It is entirely voluntary, so there are no risks.
  • You can choose the areas you want to focus on, so it can be in line with your own plans.  
  • There is a lot of support available (e.g., Support the Goals), so a good first step is to have a look at these and get in touch if you have any questions.

Techbuyer signed up to support the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development in 2019, focussing on three core areas where we could make the biggest impact. Find out more about our targets and how we are doing at the halfway point of our six-year commitment.