What is Green HR?

Green HR is a fairly new but increasingly important and common human resources approach students will likely learn some about in today’s human resources degree programs. What is this new approach, and how does it work? Here are the basics of GHR as it has so far emerged.

Ranking: Top 10 Online Phd Programs in Human Resources

GHR: The Basics

As its name implies, green human resources is the typical human resources operation but with the exception that most or all efforts and activities also keep in mind sustainability and Earth-friendly practices. Green practices in HR can thus take a wide range of shapes and forms. From communications methods to employee selection, there are many ways for the green effect to take place here. The following are just a few examples of how the HR industry has been thus far seen charting these new but important waters of eco-friendly departmental operation.

Green Recruiting, Hiring

While recruiting and hiring efforts are already a major component of the standard HR department’s responsibilities, this area is naturally a great choice for wide-sweeping “greening.” Here, HR departments are being seen hiring and recruiting more of a workforce that is aware of and personally more committed to green matters than the typical job candidate. By hiring those who are already aligned with eco-friendly living in their own lives, the workforce is then populated by an easier group to work with toward the greater goals of departmental or even organization-wide greening.

Green Training and Development

While hiring those predisposed to the mission is one great approach, going on to instill further awareness and values along the green theme by way of targeted training and development exercises can also be a great component to the greater GHR effort. In this area, a growing number of HR departments are incorporating some extent of ecology and sustainability training into the workplace. This training can target everyday practices, specialized area of employee activity, efficiency in the use of company equipment, proper waste disposal, and recycling methods, and much more.

Green Rewards

Reward systems are no new concept to HR departments, but the idea of a green reward kind of system is a fairly new approach. In such systems, employees are rewarded for their alignment with green company practices, and often times, the rewards themselves are additionally of some eco-friendly nature. The more convincing and compelling the reward system, the more effective it is typically found to be.

Green Initiatives

Finally, yet another mode of green incorporation by the HR department is that of the presentation of various eco-friendly initiatives to take place in all facets of the organization. While upper management does hold the final say on such initiatives, efforts here by HR do often gain enactment and widespread participation. The LEED Initiative is one such example becoming increasingly recognized and revered in the industry. While this particular effort mainly works toward the use of only eco-friendly materials in the workplace, there are still many other efforts an HR department can take on similarly in the realm of initiative-craft.

As the world looks for more ways to sustain and be conscious of environmental issues affecting us all, the HR industry has also begun ramping up parallel efforts here. The above-mentioned approaches and mechanisms for achieving this fall under the umbrella of a new and exciting practice in the human resources industry. This is green HR, the new component to modern HR operations and the corresponding human resources degree alike.


Cogent OA

The University of Sheffield

Related Articles:

Top 10 PhD in HR Degree Programs