Just when you thought you had your employee benefits package all nicely sorted out – there is another very important question one has to consider. Namely: how ‘green’ are your employee benefits?
The environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda continues to grow in prominence, and we know our clients have already started to think about it in other areas of their business. For example, using less paper, reducing energy costs, nominating a sustainability champion, recycling and so on. However, it’s easy to overlook your employee benefit as you look to enhance your green credentials.
Broadstone advise our clients one of the best starting points for changes to employee benefits is with your staff. We can work with you to highlight not only what staff would like to see introduced but most importantly what they will actually make use of. A bespoke benefits platform designed around you and your employees with tailored communications.
Staff working from home permanently or some of the time where feasible, is now firmly entrenched in many businesses and, of course, less travel means a reduced carbon footprint. It may be a worthwhile exercise for you to calculate those figures and shout about how you and your employees have collectively made a difference. A University of Oxford study found that those who don’t drive for one day a week sees a reduced carbon footprint of about 0.5 tonnes over a year! Now multiply that by every employee and every trip and you can see why this is good news you should share.
You could also go further by encouraging staff to use public transport and incentivising them to do so – either by helping to reduce travel fares or even offering company transport. This is useful if your business is based out of town – company buses could take employees to and from central transport hubs and so reduce car usage.
If employees do have to use cars – don’t forget to encourage car-pooling. It’s a really quick and easy way to go green. Broadstone has also seen a big uptick in companies encouraging cycling to and from work with employee benefit packages offering free bikes to employees or offering cycle to work schemes.
Some employers are also looking to offer employees an electric car scheme. It’s a sought-after employee benefit that can generate savings for your organisation too. For all fully electric cars the Benefit in Kind rate is 1% during the 2021/22 financial year, rising to 2% for 2022/23, remaining at 2% during 2023/24 and 2024/25. Along with the salary sacrifice tax and National Insurance savings, this gives a real incentive to offer employees a tax and carbon-efficient car.
Pension default funds
Did you know that most workplace pension default funds are starting a journey to net zero? They are integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) into where your employee’s money is invested which will have a long-term positive impact to the environment. Pension providers may also offer a range of investments that give people even more choice to make a positive impact on where their money is invested. At Broadstone, we like to engage with clients to see if their pension is aligned with their company values and importantly educate employees on where their money is invested and what further choices are available.
Discounts with greener companies
Broadstone knows just how much employees value discounted goods and services provided by their employer. However, more than ever, consumers like your staff want to feel good about where they are spending their money. If your corporate culture emphasises sustainability that shows it by offering discounts with other businesses that share your ethos.
In addition, why not look at supporting smaller, local companies rather than the obvious big brand names? Your staff will love the fact you are helping to support the local economy.
Within our benefits platform, Flexcel, we also can signpost your employees to sustainable businesses, such as finding a local milkman, how to carbon offset, make use of local food that would normally go to waste or sustainable organic children’s clothing.
Working with suppliers that are ‘green’ is another tick when it comes to your corporate reputation, but it also supports like-minded ventures be they big or small, and, of course, this means that everyone is collectively doing their bit for the environment.
Broadstone ensures there is a regular review process in place, so as your business changes, your discount package can evolve and develop with it. In keeping with our own culture of putting you, our client, first, the whole scheme is managed through our online portal with minimal administration for you.
If you are serious about going green – then make sure your employee benefits keep up with your plans. Let’s have a chat about what we can do to help.