What if HR reports to Sustainability?

The topic of sustainable development in companies has become THE main priority for all stakeholders. In parallel, a silent revolution has taken place. Companies have refocused on their core business. They outsourced a large part of their operations and the share of service providers increased by double digits in all industries in Europe and the US. From now on, companies operate as a network, managing purchasing, production and distribution in project mode. In the computation of added value, certain subcontractors, service providers or partners have become strategic. Losing one of them can have more impact than losing a few good employees. 

Despite this new context, traditional HR is still too often focus on employees, those who have an employment contract. As a result, everything external escapes the HR department. However, HR itself has contributed to reducing its own scope by outsourcing payroll, accounting, IT and many other services. It is now purchasing that hand over in the relationship with third-party employees, with all that this implies. 

It then becomes easy for HR to show a nice scorecard on social issues, but this is an illusion. In the company's new obligations, sustainable development encompasses three major concepts: environmental, social and governance. As social is one of the components of the whole, HR should be linked to sustainable development.

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