Employees are increasingly demanding their companies make real sustainable changes, Garnier-hosted event hears at Expo 2020 Dubai

DUBAI, 22 January 2022 – Employee activists are increasingly banding together to demand sustainable changes to the way their companies do business, according to beauty giant Garnier’s presentation ‘Can Beauty Go Green?’ at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Terra – the Sustainability Pavilion on Thursday (20 January).

While many pundits have argued for top down change, sustainability activist, advisor and coach Nadine Zidani said she is increasingly seeing the reverse, with a growth in employee activism and more employees coming together to tackle what they perceive as issues in business operations, such as in the handling of plastic waste.

Nadine Zidani said: “Employees are saying: ‘We want to make this change, can you support us, can you give us a budget?’ Sustainability leaders are no longer just the CEOs, they are everywhere in the organisation.”

Zidani said she now typically begins her consultancy projects by speaking to company leaders about employees: “They expect me to say: ‘How can we measure our carbon footprint?’ And I say: ‘No, we are going to start with your people, because they are your most important assets, your sustainability leaders, and the people who are going to drive the business forward.”تزايد أعداد الموظفين المطالبين شركاتهم بإجراء تغييرات حقيقية مستدامة

Dina Storey, Director of Sustainability Operations, Expo 2020 Dubai, echoed the importance of employee engagement in a business’ sustainable practices, highlighting how Expo 2020 Dubai’s creation of a “Tribe” has helped its team feel supported in implementing the event’s sustainable vision. She went on to explain how social impact through equity, inclusion, diversity and accessibility have been as important as the environmental impact to the organisation’s sustainability vision.

Dina Storey said: “At Expo 2020, the percentage of female employees is 51 per cent, and it is, of course, led by a woman, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy [UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai].”

Ahead of the discussion at Terra, Garnier promoted its social-media campaign ‘One Green Step’, in collaboration with Plastics for Change, a project that works to help waste collectors in India. The campaign challenges social-media users to either share Garnier’s One Green Step video, which encourages them to make one small lifestyle change towards sustainability, or to make and share their own video about the step they have taken.

In return, Garnier and Plastics for Change have pledged to recycle five plastic bottles for every video shared, and ten plastic bottles for every video made and shared on social media. Through this initiative, Plastics for Change was able to help around 5,600 waste collectors in India last year, providing medical support, education and administrative services.

In October 2021, Garnier launched a global educational campaign in collaboration with National Geographic to support and inspire 250 million people to adopt a greener lifestyle.