5 Ways to Support Employees with Climate Anxiety

7 Dec, 2023

With 3 in 4 adults reportedly ‘feeling worried about climate change’, here are five ways you can support climate anxiety in your employees.

What is Climate Anxiety?

Climate anxiety is a ‘state of distress caused by concern about climate change. Whilst relatively new, climate anxiety is on the rise and tends to affect younger people. Gen Z (those in their teens to mid-20s) have higher climate anxiety than previous generations, and this is affecting where they choose to work. As more of this generation enter the workforce, employers must support them through these concerns.  

5 Ways to Support Employees with Climate Anxiety

Cultivate a Culture of Wellbeing

As with any other mental health issue, you should support employees who experience climate anxiety. Prioritise mental health by fostering an open-door policy, ensuring access to resources, and encouraging dialogue on mental health. You can find a variety of resources to support your team on the Mind website. A mentally healthy workforce has many benefits, including reduced sick days, improved staff retention and productivity, enhanced company reputation and cost savings. 

Inspire Action

Demonstrate leadership commitment by engaging employees in environmental initiatives and reinforcing a collective effort towards positive change. This can be achieved by embedding sustainability into your company culture, delivering environmental awareness sessions, green incentives and good old fashioned healthy competition between teams. Don’t forget to show your team the impact of their sustainability efforts. Seeing results will not only give them a boost, but help reduce climate anxiety too. 

Embrace Hybrid Working

The COVID pandemic changed how we work, but employers are split as to whether this will last. Yet, recent research from IWG and Arup found that hybrid working could reduce an individuals carbon emissions by as much as 70%! Incorporating hybrid working will not only aid your employees in reducing their carbon footprint but will also contribute to enhanced wellbeing. 

Empower Your Team

According to the report by The Office for National Statistics, two of the biggest barriers for individuals looking to make a positive change were the feeling that it would have little effect (32%) and that it was too expensive (30%). You can equip your team with reliable and up-to-date information on climate mitigation by holding workshops and seminars. By educating and empowering your team, you can show them the difference they can make and how to save money in the process. Check out some of these ideas from The Times

Promote Volunteering

Get your team out volunteering with a local environmental group for a day a year. This will not only support the environment but can also improve your local community and employee’s health and wellbeing too. 

How can ISO 14001 support climate anxiety?

ISO 14001 is the internationally recognised Standard for environmental management, helping you reduce your environmental impact. Whilst the Standard does not focus on climate anxiety, it can indirectly offer reassurance to teams in several ways: 

  1. It provides a framework for setting clear environmental objectives, enabling employees to align efforts towards reducing environmental impact.  
  2. By promoting employee engagement, ISO 14001 empowers teams to actively contribute to climate change initiatives, potentially alleviating anxiety by fostering a sense of purpose and involvement.  
  3. The Standard promotes a proactive approach to mitigating environmental risk, assuring employees that you are taking proactive steps to address these challenges.
  4. Continual improvement is a key focus of ISO 14001. This reassures employees that you are dedicated to making a positive change, reinforcing employee confidence. 
  5. ISO 14001 will enhance your reputation and boost employee morale. Those worried about climate change will be proud to be associated with an environmentally conscious organisation and may experience reduced anxiety, knowing they are part of a company that prioritises the environment.  

If you’re interested in learning more about ISO 14001 and how it can support your business and team, please contact us on 0330 058 5551. Alternatively, you can request a free, no-obligation quote here.

ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.

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