Green HRM: Meaning & Practices

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Green HRM
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The buzzword ‘Green HRM’ has grown in popularity with the rise of sustainable living and the raising awareness of social responsibility.


However, many misconceptions exist, with some calling it merely another fad for HR. On the other hand, many consider it to be a game-changer in the human resources realm.


So, what exactly is green HRM and why should you implement sustainable practices in your organization? How will it benefit your company and what is its relevance for the business?


We will be discussing all these aspects of green human resource management in this blog, while also sharing some practical tips on the common GHRM practices and initiatives, which benefit you and your employees.



What is Green Human Resource Management (GHRM)?

So, what is green HRM? Green HRM refers to any efforts by the human resources department within the organization to raise awareness towards environmental management and ensure that the employees contribute towards making their organization sustainable.


Green human resource management, often referred to as green HR, also encompasses active efforts by the human resources in making the workplace as environmentally friendly as possible, while also encouraging their staff to do the same. It is responsible for creating a sustainable workspace, by transforming the HR operations keeping sustainable goals in mind.


Green HRM Practices

Now that we have a good idea of the numerous benefits of GHRM, let us check out the common green human resource management practices, which will result in an enhanced perception of the company and its staff. These practices help implement excellent green HR policies throughout the company, helping it achieve its sustainability goals.


Some of the common practices which support the green HR policies are:


1. Hiring Selectively

You can start by hiring selectively to ensure that the hired candidates are inclined towards green causes by asking relevant queries during the interviews. Similarly, you can also encourage them to attach any proof of their involvement with green initiatives, which will ensure that they are more likely to participate in similar activities conducted by the office.


Green targets can be also included in leadership positions as they hold more responsibility for green initiatives. It will ensure that these managers will be interested in green initiatives and support their team members in fulfilling the company’s green objectives.


2. Providing Employment Security

Providing your employees job security is an excellent green HR practice, which helps you gain their trust. Hence, they will be inclined to follow the green human resource management policies laid down by the organization. By providing your staff with the assurance of job security, they will also have a sense of belonging to your company, and hence, they will be better engaged with the company.


Having a stable source of income will also provide them with the peace of mind that their company will support them financially. Providing employment security will also result in lesser attrition, which will also help you save costs associated with hiring, training and development of new staff members.


3. Fostering Open Communication

Another excellent option to build a green workplace is to foster open communication throughout the organization. It enables the employees to feel a sense of belonging to their company, while also reassuring them of their value for the business. It also helps them to be free to share their ideas and innovations with their team, making for a productive environment.


Open communication should also include enhanced transparency regarding the finances, corporate strategies, and other information which also affects the employees. It enables the staff to understand that their company trusts them completely. It also enables them to feel involved with their organization, improving their loyalty.


4. Emphasizing Teamwork

It is also essential to emphasize teamwork as multiple green activities can profit with the help of teamwork. Green human resource management practices promote teamwork as it encourages your staff to remain engaged with the company and be a productive member of their team.


By emphasizing teamwork, you can also ensure that your team has better bonding, and hence, can be more productive and efficient than the competition. Having an efficient team also results in long-term success as they can work as a single unit to accomplish their tasks. It enables them to remain engaged with their company, as well as be more productive than others.


5. Developing Learning Culture

By organizing training sessions in environmentally friendly practices, you can enable your staff to understand why they are supposed to follow the green practices within their company. Developing a culture of learning and development will enable the teams to understand the reason behind the green initiatives. As a result, they will be eager to fulfil their company’s green goals and actively contribute towards green initiatives.


It also enables the younger generation of employees to feel more connected with their company as they are actively looking for learning opportunities to upskill themselves. Such employees will also be looking forward to staying longer with such a company, which enables them to grow together.


What is Importance of Green HRM?

In a world where society is actively trying to develop sustainable solutions for the longevity of our planet’s resources, green human resource management is the idea that will bring about environment-friendly changes in the workplace. Since green human resource management results in positive human resources initiatives that effectively reduce a company’s carbon footprint, it enables the company to have a positive effect on the Earth’s ecosystem.


The Earth’s ecosystem and biodiversity need to be preserved for future generations if we are to sustain life on our planet. Hence, green human resource management initiatives go a long way in raising awareness about these issues as well as ensuring that employees all over the world take adequate measures to be environment-friendly in their daily activities.


Green HR initiatives enable human resources to optimize their activities to stay efficient, which results in lowered costs, and better employee satisfaction, making them proud of their company for their initiatives in safeguarding the planet.


Benefits of Green HRM

There are multiple benefits of implementing green human resource management practices throughout the organization. While these practices are a reward in itself, there are other indirect benefits of GHRM, which can be enjoyed by companies that develop and deploy robust policies which support green human resource management initiatives and wellbeing of the environment.


Some of the major benefits of environmental and green human resource management are:

  • It helps reduce the overall carbon footprint of the organization, resulting in the reduction of associated costs.
  • Green HR also creates an atmosphere of well-being and harmony as the employees understand the relevance of having an empathetic outlook towards living things, through training and sessions.
  • It also helps improve the employer brand as everyone can witness the multiple green practices employed by the company.
  • The improved branding of an organization will also result in better quality of employees, which leads to improved productivity.
  • Green HR also results in improved employee morale due to the improved culture of mutual respect and understanding, thanks to the awareness created by green human resource management.
  • The improved morale will also be reflected in enhanced productivity from the staff.
  • Moreover, it will also lead to increased engagement, as they understand the efforts their company is taking to do this part in sustaining life on our planet.
  • Furthermore, the engaged and satisfied staff will stay with the business for longer, leading to an improved employee retention rate.
  • Since sustainability is a major aspect of green HR, it will also lead to reduction in the use of company resources, ensuring reduced utility costs within the company.
  • An environmentally conscious brand also has an overall better reputation among people, which is ideal for any business.
  • Additionally, governments generally provide rebates and other tax benefits for undertaking green initiatives, which also helps cut down running costs.
  • Similarly, some government agencies share their contracts only with companies that have shown a specific level of commitment towards green initiatives, further improving business opportunities.


Disadvantages of Green HRM

Since we mentioned the benefits of green HR, we should justify ourselves by sharing its disadvantages too. While these cons can certainly be covered in the long run, they are a disadvantage nonetheless for the organization.


A major disadvantage of GHRM initiatives is that they require higher initial costs, as multiple changes are required in a traditional office setup to include sustainable practices and products. Similarly, the savings generated by cost-effective and green alternatives often take longer to recover the initial installation costs.


Another point to consider is that, while you can lower the overall company’s carbon footprint, which can be huge, you are simply making a marginal impact on our planet. Until all companies join hands, your efforts won’t make as much of an impact.


Initiatives for the Management of the Green Human Resources

Green HRM initiatives have the effect of making the employees feel psychological ownership of their companies as they understand the efforts their organization is taking to sustain their environment.


It also boosts the corporate image of the business, making it more attractive to the environmentally aware generation of workers.


Let us understand the green human resource management initiatives for different HR processes:


➔ Recruitment

Since recruitment is the first step in an employee’s induction into an organization, HRs can make it more environment-friendly by undertaking green initiatives such as providing candidates with a paperless onboarding experience.


Additionally, they can also ensure that the candidates are made aware of their company’s green initiatives by making it a part of the company culture. Similarly, recruiters can also include some queries in the interview process to understand how much of social responsibility the candidate is willing to take.


➔ HR Operations

HRs can also switch to a complete HRMS software to ensure that all HR operations become paperless. For example, right from the recruitment and selection, employees can be asked to submit their documents online, while also sharing all relevant information like HR policies and practices online.


Similarly, modern HRMS will enable online attendance, thereby avoiding the need for manual registers. By integrating all HR operations into an HRMS, the company can efficiently optimize their HR operations, making it a highly advantageous endeavour.


➔ Performance Management

Performance management and appraisal is another area where green human resource management can be included to ensure that the employees are completely aligned with the green initiatives of their company.


While aligning the company goals with the employee’s personal goals, HR teams and managers can also provide them with added incentives for participating in the green practices and initiatives of the company. It can even be included as a part of their performance management system to help them understand the relevance of environmental strategies for the organization.


➔ Learning & Upskilling

Similarly, green human resource management also includes learning and development initiatives that make the employees aware of the numerous environmental management strategies undertaken by their company for sustainability.


The organization can also provide them training and development in environmental sustainability practices, to ensure they gain a complete overview of it and actively provide their support in implementing the green policies of the business.


➔ Salary and Benefits

GHRM initiatives related to performance management and appraisal aim to reward the employees for their participation in the environmental management initiatives of their organization. Such rewards and recognition should also be factored into the into the payroll software.


These benefits can be either awarded in the form of monetary benefits like incentives, cash rewards, bonuses, etc. or shared as non-monetary items such as extra leave credits, discount vouchers, etc.


Challenges of Green HRM

The common challenges in implementing green HRM strategies and policies in companies include:


1. Lack of Documentation

Documentation ensures that the environmentally friendly practices in the organization are undertaken diligently. It helps preserve the established policies and associated assets too.


2. Inadequate Budget

Transitioning to sustainable technologies and practices requires heavy investment. However, companies often face budget constraints, which proves to be challenging for green HRM initiatives.


3. Training and Awareness

Undertaking employee training and raising awareness within the organization is another challenge for the HR teams in implementing robust green HRM practices throughout the company.



Green human resource management practices can not only improve the overall well-being of our environment but also enhance the perception and branding of the organization. It helps improve employee productivity and job satisfaction, leading to a harmonious and empathetic workforce.


Additionally, it also keeps the workplace engaging and productive, improving the retention rate. Moreover, it also helps realize the sustainability goals of the organization, helping in reducing the running costs of the company.


Hence, it is essential that all companies, irrespective of their size, follow green HR practices as well as implement robust green policies. It will enable your company to remain environmentally conscious, while also contributing towards realizing the sustainability goals of planet Earth.


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