Living Our Values: The Positive Impact of Growing a Responsible Business
Did you know that recycling paper didn’t start in earnest in the United States until the 1960s and 70s? And that recycling plastic didn’t follow suit until the 1980s? We’ve come a long way since then. In fact, for many of us, recycling has become second nature.
Doing the right thing has always been the right thing to do. But today, organizations are increasingly looking beyond their bottom line to drive progress through diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and programs that favor social good. At the same time, they are dedicating themselves to choosing renewable energy, updating manufacturing processes to decrease pollution, reducing their carbon footprint, and protecting the environmental ecosystem. Much of this is driven by a genuine concern for our shared future. But, there are pragmatic reasons as well.
Customers are holding businesses accountable, and they are not the only ones; employees are doing the same thing. A new social compact has emerged between employers and employees that goes beyond compensation. Employees want to work for organizations with values that align with their personal beliefs. In fact, in a recent study from Deloitte, nearly half of Millennials and Gen Z — today’s largest and most diverse workforce — say that they put pressure on employers to take action to fight climate change. And, in a companion CxO study, 65% of business leaders report feeling that pressure.
The truth is, a sustainable and Responsible Business needs to be top of mind — right now — for employers and employees alike.
At Skillsoft, we are an inherently digital company. We’ve delivered learning in an online environment for decades, with a largely digital supply chain of knowledge workers and content. We enable customers around the world to be more responsible in the way they train their workforce, reducing their carbon footprints by curtailing unnecessary travel, printing, and other activities that can tax natural resources. And, we support those customers in advancing their own understanding and expertise in ESG practices — whether that’s through our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion curriculum, our Corporate Sustainability learning journeys, or our Global Code of Conduct Solution.
As an industry leader, Skillsoft and our entire team are committed to what we call our “North Star” purpose: To propel organizations and people to grow together through transformative learning experiences. Furthermore, we are committed to being a Responsible Business for ourselves, our customers, and our world, and to helping our customers become more Responsible Businesses as well.
We start with leading by example. Our Team Members are on an ESG journey, just as you probably are, and we strive to live and work by our core values every day:
- We Are One Team: We can only succeed if we unite under one mission.
- We Are Open and Respectful: We assume positive intent and ensure everyone feels welcome.
- We Are Curious: We think — and believe — that knowledge is power, and humility is the learning engine.
- We Are Ready: We expect change and prepare for it always.
- We Are True: We earn the trust of the people we work with, and our customers, every day
Of course, words are only as valuable as the actions behind them — and the impacts of those actions. That's why I'm delighted to share Skillsoft’s first annual Impact Report, “Living Our Values.” In putting it together, we found that our efforts to date continue to shape an organization and workplace that we can be proud of.
Here are a few highlights for you.
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Serving the Planet
For more than 20 years, Skillsoft has been an innovator of learning solutions. By its very nature, our industry has helped organizations become more environmentally sustainable. We’ve helped organizations digitally transform and support distributed workforces. And, we’ve had the honor of training millions of people – helping them reskill and upskill for professional growth and longevity.
Despite our achievements to date, we believe we have an obligation to continually improve and reduce our environmental impact across our internal operations, product and solutions development, delivery, and customer service. One way we're achieving this is by encouraging remote and hybrid work, enabling us to significantly reduce our physical space. Since March 2020, we’ve closed 61% of our brick-and-mortar facilities and reduced others by 19% for a total of 60%+ footprint reduction.
At Skillsoft, our employees have access to the same learning resources that our customers do, and often use those opportunities to give back to others. For instance, Skillsoft employees in India recently gave back to charities battling hunger and improving access to education. Supporting 17 participating organizations, Skillsoft donated 16,128 meals, and sponsored the education and employment of 100 young women.
Serving our Stakeholders
At Skillsoft, we believe in ethical leadership, and have pledged to do right by others, even — and especially — when it’s hard. We keep the promises we make to our customers, to our learners, and to each other. And, we do the right thing, even when no one is watching.
Cultivating the right mindset in every employee is necessary not only to mitigate risk, but also to promote a high-performing environment where both the individual and the business can thrive, while making the world a better place. Our comprehensive portfolio of compliance solutions helps customers support ethical behavior, improve health and safety, and minimize risk. And, our own governance and compliance structure, which is designed to promote transparency, includes policies and practices that enable us to hold ourselves accountable.
I invite you to read our Impact Report. If you're embarking on your own ESG journey, it may offer some inspiration. Or, if you’ve already had some successes, I’d love to hear about them.
Maybe we’ll even “recycle” some.