L&D's Role in Tackling Climate Change | Evgeny Lukin, Head of Learning & Development, JLL

How can Learning and Development leaders play their part in tackling climate change? Speaking to iVentiv, Evgeny Lukin, Head of Learning and Development at JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle), shared some of the steps that he and his team have taken in partnership with the business to help reduce the company’s carbon footprint and that of its clients.

JLL and Climate Change

The construction industry, in which JLL is a major player, is an enormous contributor to climate change. Evgeny explains that the real estate industry contributes to a massive 40% of global carbon emissions. "One square meter of buildings produce almost two tonnes of CO2. To compensate two tonnes of CO2, you need at least 40 trees, which is really impossible."

"As a real estate company,” he said, “we really feel this responsibility that is upon us to help our clients reduce their carbon footprint." Evgeny, formerly an advisory board member for LinkedIn Learning and also a former associate of Mazars, emphasises JLL's commitment to tackling climate change, a subject of great interest to businesses worldwide.

JLL's commitment to sustainable business practices is grounded in their response to the Paris Agreement, a global objective aimed at curbing global warming to two degrees by 2050. 

How did the L&D Team at JLL Address the Issue of Climate Change?

To address this, JLL has taken a proactive approach, focusing on their internal culture to equip their consultants with the necessary skills to help clients transition towards sustainable practices. This transformation required a significant shift within JLL, starting with executive engagement, team involvement, and finally, company-wide participation.

JLL's effort saw a "Sustainability Bootcamp" introduced for their executive committee, a program to raise awareness about climate change and its impact on the industry. Then, the focus shifted to team learning using a unique method called 'Climate Fresque.' Developed by French entrepreneur Cedric Ringenbach, Climate Fresque uses a game-based approach to map out the processes of climate change. Evgeny says, "this methodology is really open to anyone who wants to be trained in it."

Within a year, the company managed to train 900 employees using this method, thanks in part to the support of their executive committee. To further consolidate these efforts, JLL launched the 'Sustainability Pass,' a company-wide certification in sustainability skills. Evgeny reveals, "We rolled this out throughout all our French employees and it created just a huge engagement."

How does Learning About Climate Change Improve Employee Belonging?

The impacts of these changes within JLL have been far-reaching and profound. According to Evgeny, almost 80% of the employees stated that they were able to use the knowledge gained through the training in their day-to-day work, and an impressive 75% reported an increased sense of belonging to the organisation.

A key part of the process was getting the business leadership on board. “The best way to get their attention,” Evgeny says, “is to appeal to their curiosity, to spark their fear of missing out.” The business brought in researchers and speakers to meet the board and talk to them about what climate change means for the construction industry. They also engaged in reverse mentoring, giving the board a chance to speak to younger generations.

Why Should L&D Teams Take on Climate Topics?

Evgeny is clear that L&D should see causes like Climate Change, not just as part of their role, but as challenges to which their skills are closely suited. “We as L&D people, we need to go and see within the business to make sure that what we propose is answers the need.” And he gives his L&D peers in other organisations a vote of confidence too. “You have all the experience, all the engagement, all the methodology. And this is really our expertise. This is our core competence that we need to leverage.”

For those in Learning and Development roles, Lukin encourages a partnership approach to tackling climate change, leveraging allies and focusing on business relevance. He remarked, "I can guarantee you, if we partner in the right way with the right people and we get the executive engagement and the executive sponsorship, the impact will be just huge."

The work undertaken by Evgeny and his team JLL underlines the potential for L&D to address pressing global issues and the key steps involved in doing so, from engaging leadership to building clear learning paths. By integrating sustainability into their learning culture, JLL has demonstrated how, in their view, L&D can play a vital role in mitigating climate change and fostering a more sustainable future. How are you addressing these issues in your organisation?

Evgeny Lukin is the Head of Learning & Development (France) for JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle). Evgeny’s area of interest and expertise lie in organisational development, including corporate culture, leadership and people development. He has an extensive experience designing and leading global L&D and engagement initiatives for large organisations. His expertise includes executive education, change management, team coaching, learning & development. Passionate about organisational learning, Evgeny is a member of the club of corporate universities – one the largest network of learning directors in Europe.