Ed Catmull, Pixar and Disney Animation Studios president, once asked me a question: “What’s more important, great ideas or great people?” His answer, always people.
He said you could take a perfect idea, give it to four incompetent people, and they’d screw it up every time. If you want your company to go green, your first step is to start looking for green-friendly employees. Timberland looks for eco-sensibilities when selecting business managers.
Liam Connelly is the U.S. recruiting manager at Timberland, and he says that when he considers MBAs for Timberland, he’s looking beyond finance or marketing skills. He’s looking for people “that have a passion to make the world a better place.” He’s not alone. A 2007 Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive survey found that eight out of ten corporate recruiters look for business managers to have knowledge and interest in sustainability.
You can make this part of your process too. Add a place on employment application for candidates to either write an essay about how they feel about the environment or to list eco-friendly activities they participate in. Put it in the hiring criteria, along with education, experience and attitude.
Hiring eco-minded employees is a good business decision. They will use less electricity, make less waste and reduce your liabilities in the future by instinctively acting to preserve the environment.