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Watch the interviews with the experts at the seminar
Niklas Zandén during the Sustainable HRM-seminar.

Achieving the Pursuit of Sustainability in HRM Work

With the increasing focus on sustainability, the connection to Human Resource Management (HRM) is becoming more evident. These two organizational components are intertwined and can be strengthened through increased collaboration. This was the message conveyed during the Sustainable HRM seminar.

Human Resource Management (HRM) and sustainability are two areas that have not yet been fully integrated in Sweden but are related to several social questions.

– HRM issues may include salary matters, overtime concerns, and labor-related issues within a company, whereas the same issues are considered sustainability matters when they arise in supplier chains. It is interesting that these two areas are handled by different groups of people, says Niklas Zandén, professor at the Department of Business Administration. 

Enhancing their respective domains

During the seminar, Niklas Zandén engaged with practitioners in HRM to discuss how the topic can become more relevant from a sustainability perspective. He emphasizes that sustainability issues encompass the social aspect where HR possesses strong expertise, while there is also potential for improvement in the environmental domain. By exchanging knowledge and competence, the professions in sustainability and HRM can complement each other and strenghten their respective domain. 

– I have observed a discrepancy between what the HR team does and what the sustainability team does, and they need to communicate more with each other and mutually benefit from each another in order to achieve these transformative processes, says Niklas Zandén. 

He continues: 

– It is about finding win-win situations but also managing any conflicts that may arise. 

Within the HRM-field, there is a knowledge base that could be beneficial in the realm of sustainability. Watch Niklas Zandén elaborate on this in the video clip above. 

Also participating in the seminar was Mattias Magnell from the construction company Skanska, who presented their business idea and how it is interconnected with sustainability aspects in their HRM work to achieve sustainable solutions. 

– HR should be able to see the bigger picture, both at a macro level and in detail, and consider factors such as competitiveness, employee well-being, and climate improvements, says Mattias Magnell, Head of Skanska Leadership Development and Chairman of the Swedish Institute for Standards. 

He adds: 

– It is a highly successful approach to view it as collaborative endeavor to create sustainability for climate-related issues, sustainability for profitability, and competitiveness based on people's well-being.