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Sustainable development in Polish companies

In recent years, sustainable development has become an integral part of the strategy of many companies operating in Poland. According to the latest report “Readiness of Polish organizations to implement ESG” prepared by CBRE for the year 2022, 71 per cent of respondents believe that sustainable development is a strategic priority in their organizations, and as many as 26 per cent. of them confirms this fact decisively.

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It’s worth noting that even though most companies are taking action in the area of ESG, there is still a small percentage of respondents (10 per cent) who do not consider sustainability issues to be a priority for their employer. However, even if ESG is not considered a strategic priority, as many as 74 per cent of respondents confirm that their organizations are taking some action in these areas.

Commitment to ESG issues and the age of the staff

Further analysis of the report shows that there is a clear relationship between the age of respondents and the degree of their commitment to the sustainability strategy. Older people in managerial positions are more likely to engage with ESG issues in their organization. It can be assumed that this is due to their greater experience and position in the organizational structure.

However, even though many companies are taking ESG-related actions, the report shows that organizations focus mainly on aspects required by the  law or their customer expectations. Only 59% of respondents pointed to the protection of biodiversity and wildlife as one of the ESG practices that are least frequently implemented in Polish organizations.

Corporate Social Responsibility

An important step in sustainability strategies, especially in the context of social aspects, is to take into account the well-being of employees. In today’s economic reality, more and more attention is paid to ensuring not only compliance with the law, but also the achievement of corporate social responsibility goals. As a result, employees’ expectations regarding the quality of the working environment are increasing and awareness of the importance of mental and physical well-being is increasing.

Employee well-being and employer attractiveness

Activities supporting employee well-being cover a wide range of aspects, such as building organizational culture, ensuring work-life balance, supporting mental health, caring for diversity and equality, charitable activities, or voluntary activities undertaken by employees . Research shows that employees appreciate access to daylight, safety and cleanliness in the workplace, but there are also areas for improvement, such as acoustics, accessibility for people with disabilities and a lack of activities to encourage movement.

In the context of well-being in the work environment, both the physical and mental comfort of employees should be taken into account. Employers should take consistent and comprehensive measures that will not only improve physical working conditions, but also create a healthy organizational culture, conducive to mental well-being. Research shows that organizations that focus on employee well-being can become more attractive as employers, which can help retain talent and attract new employees.

The coming years will require  companies greater involvement in what is broadly understood as sustainable development. It will be necessary to transform the approach so that ESG goals and strategies are integrated with business objectives and include every department within the organization’s structure. At the same time, it will be a challenge for both employers and employees, who expect companies to act more and more responsibly in areas, including environmental, social and managerial aspects.

Source: the CBRE report : ESG organization. Are we ready for sustainable development strategies in Poland? (published in Polish)

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