Multinational corporations: the environment as an argument

Multinational corporations: the environment as an argument

Did you say green washing?

Between greenwashing and real attempts at commitment, it is not easy for young environmentally conscious working people to find their way into corporate discourse.

“If the company wants you, the HR department will necessarily talk to you about the environment during the interview, even if it’s two minutes at the end.” At 23, Pierre has already given fifteen job interviews to find the CDI of his dreams. A recent graduate of ESCP, a major Parisian business school, the young man faced the demands of consulting firms…and their communication methods. “We are a company that promotes this or that” insert: I don’t know what to do to clear your conscience…a classic. “ Because environmental commitment is more and more necessary at work. Commissioned by the Society for Environmental Awakening, a study by Harris Interactive and published in March showed that two-thirds of people ages 18 to 30 say they’d give up applying to a company that doesn’t take environmental issues sufficiently into account.

As such, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Boanyi announced in 2019 that his company ‘Main fear’ No longer “Attracting Talent” to develop green energies. Therefore, to recruit even if you have a bad reputation, you need to know how to convince. “Do not be deceived by the green washing, He wants to believe Thierry Renard, a director at Total Global Human Resources, who is responsible for much of the company’s hiring. We give them tangibleness, which is why we remain attractive. And it works. The Young Graduate Program, which was launched in May to recruit young talent to develop new energies within the group, already has 1,200 applications.

Experience and means as arguments

Energy giant does not miss an opportunity to highlight a clear commitment “sustainable development” In student fairs and forums. “A very small percentage of their sales”, However, accuses Remy Vannell, a member of the group for the environmental awakening. Just being in Uganda with their Eacop project [un oléoduc de pétrole critiqué pour son impact environnemental, ndlr] prove their bad faith. Their action plan is not ambitious enough and does not meet climate expectations.” From TotalEnergies, we commend the group’s transparency. “We do not deceive our young recruits, Thierry Renard insists. There is feedback from interns and trainees in work, study and other professional contracts who shape their opinion of our ambitions and become ambassadors for us in some way. Another argument made by the multinational company: It “expertise” so is “You know” Great to start moving.

“I understood that the environment was not the priority.”

Loïc, 24, former engineer at an automobile supplier

Being inside the machine to make it change lanes better, the controversy rightly seduced Mary. After receiving a master’s degree in organizational transformation from the University of Paris Dauphine, the young woman hesitated to join a large construction company. This veteran environmental activist was finally convinced during her interview. “With the chefs, we were on par with our values, they were open about the vision I had in sobriety. They were also aware that there was still a lot of work to be done. Their openness and ambition appealed to me.” The company may not be so virtuous in terms of the environment, as Mary hopes “A tangible long-term impact by working to change it” : “I realized that through my work I could make the most impact.” If recruiters admit from the start that their company has not been developed, few are aware of their delay.

On the contrary, for Loïc, 24, an engineer by training, it was the gap between the needs of society and the commitments made by his company that prompted him to quit. “I worked for a leading automotive supplier in its sector, which employs more than 30,000 employees worldwide. I ended up understanding that the environment was not the priority. And the inner reflection says it all: “We considered that while we were investing in hydrogen compounds, the environment box was checked. However, we continued to produce mainly thermal energy.” To show its goodwill, the fund appointed a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Director, responsible for integrating social and environmental concerns into business activities. The beginning of a good idea, but the new strategy focuses on carbon neutrality, a concept with proven limits, notes Loeck, which decries dual rhetoric between values ​​being defended abroad and a lack of interest, even contempt, for some members. The hierarchy of the subject of the environment.

Green wash detection

For candidates also, it is beneficial to go into the field of environment during the interview. Showing that you know the company’s obligations is a good way to answer the question ‘Why would you want to work with us instead of anywhere else? ” Peter says. Way like any other way to stand out: Since companies often make environmental promises, it would be bad if applicants were not aware of them. Still need to decipher them. This is one of the goals set by the NGO Environmental Awakening. “In 2018, we have Student statement It had an electric shock effect. This prompted some chests to change their enlistment letters,” Explains Remy Vannell.

Based on surveys completed by multinational companies, the association studied several sectors: automotive, retail, finance, and luxury to understand their strategies. “What kind of governance do these companies put in place? Are they concerned about the impact of their activities on biodiversity? Do they think beyond carbon dioxide emissions? Companies can no longer deny the importance of these topics.”Critical data to educate students, and help them discover the phenomenon of green bleaching by potential employers.

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