With funding from Skillnet Ireland, the CIPD has collaborated with a range of experts to develop a framework to upskill people professionals and help them navigate their crucial role in building responsible, sustainable organisations.  

As we navigate the challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss, human rights, and social inequalities, it’s increasingly evident that the actions of organisations, their leadership, their people functions and their employees, are all critically important.

“The people profession is key to addressing so many of the challenges organisations and societies face.  Wellbeing must become a strategic imperative and we must invest in the skills and capabilities needed to build responsible and sustainable organisations.”

Mary Connaughton, Director, CIPD in Ireland

To develop the framework – and accompanying guide - the CIPD drew on valuable insights and contributions from members of the Sustainable HRM Skillnet, CIPD members and expert facilitators.   

Together, the tools will help organisations across all sectors, shapes and sizes to align their people strategies with their sustainability ambitions. It will support people professionals to apply a sustainability lens to all their core policies, procedures and practices – including recruitment, development and engagement. And, crucially, it will give people professionals the confidence and know-how to embed organisational cultures and working environments that deliver on business objectives and support people to thrive.

The Sustainable people practices framework  outlines five interdependent pillars of sustainable people practices which organisations can adapt to their specific context:  

  1. Workforce for the future 
  2. People practices and processes  
  3. Culture, leadership and strategy  
  4. Governance, risk and regulation  
  5. Communities and social impact. 

The accompanying guide suggests an implementation roadmap and a one-page charter to help communicate the priorities and role of the people function. It will help people teams identify how to make their greatest impact - whether that is upskilling, enhancing employee engagement, wellbeing and inclusion, or promoting ethical, social and environmentally friendly practices in the workplace. It also suggests sample metrics to monitor progress and ensure that sustainable people practices remain effective, relevant and impactful.  

“Workplaces have the power to be a force for good for everyone – we can all make a difference to achieve that.” 

Mary Connaughton, Director, CIPD in Ireland

This project was led by Project Manager Sara Mullally and funded by Skillnet Ireland and Sustainable HRM Network members. It was compiled by Dr Declan Bogan of Goodbody Clearstream. 

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