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Benefits that support people support the environment too!

66% of employees globally want to work for an organization that clearly demonstrates their support for environmental sustainability. Are you one of them?
Woman and girl with toy windmill, Paty, Hungary

According to our recent Health on Demand research, 42% of employees are extremely or very much concerned about adverse climate events impacting them or their families. It’s no surprise, then, that employees increasingly want to work for organizations that clearly demonstrate their support for environmental sustainability. Two-thirds (66%) of employees globally say it’s important to them that their employers demonstrate, through communication and action, their commitment to fighting climate change. That commitment will resonate with greater authenticity if it carries through all aspects of the business, including the benefits program. Here are three ways to bring environmental consciousness into your organization’s long-term benefits strategy.


Human resources have an important role to play in the organization’s climate and sustainability strategies. Everyone in the organization will need to contribute, and HR teams are especially important in managing the “S” of ESG. To understand and be ready to respond to the impact of climate on their people, organizations need to conduct cross-functional risk assessments. HR should be at the table when discussing adaptation and crisis mitigation plans, as an organization’s most critical asset is its people.

Organizations should also recognize their important role in the community as part of climate event response and resilience-building. When disasters strike (as they are doing with growing frequency), employers can make a big difference in how well both their employees and the larger community weather the crisis and recover. It was encouraging to see that 67% of employees surveyed believe their employers would help them in an emergency. Employers have an opportunity to build on this trust, showing support for employees and communities through tangible action.


A modern benefits program does its part to support the environment. Employers can offer, and promote, employee programs to support net-zero goals and climate adaptations. Specific actions might include redesigning transportation policies to reduce impacts of travel – offering credits for electric vehicles, installing charging stations at the worksite, subsidizing the use of public transportation or non-car travel (e.g., bikes, scooters) and encouraging carpool and rideshare programs.  Outside of transportation, employers may consider offering sustainable investment options, or offering spending accounts, which allow employees to make updates to their homes and lifestyle to support energy efficiency and more environmentally friendly lifestyles.


Finally, employers should be ready to adapt. Climate events are hitting harder and more frequently, and according to the most recent UN study, we can only expect this to continue. Employers need to ensure that their employees can access and use healthcare and other necessary services in a time of crisis. Our Health on Demand research showed us that, post-pandemic, employees are more open to digital health solutions than ever before, even if these solutions still aren’t the default method for seeking care. Clearly, virtual healthcare is here to stay. From benefits administration to communication apps to virtual counseling, digital benefits provide a vital connection during crises, especially when local offices or service providers are closed for a significant time period or employees must relocate.  

It’s time for HR leaders to have a seat at the climate and sustainability table. To learn more, download our most recent Health on Demand report.

Meet the authors

William Beauchamp

William Beauchamp

Commercial Leader, MMB Multinational

Senior Consultant, Health, Mercer, US

Tabit Xthona Lee

Senior Consultant, Mercer Marsh Benefits

  • United States

Environmental Consciousness

For more information or query on actions you can take to bring environmental consciousness into your organization’s long-term benefits strategy