Achieving Sustainability in Global Mobility: Is it Possible?
Citizenship and sustainability are integral to the Cartus culture. They define who we are as a company and guide our approach to working with our clients. As the global pandemic shines a light on the significant (and positive) impact a reduction in global travel has had on our climate, we ask what other steps can be taken within the industry to achieve sustainability.
Change Around the World, Across Generations
Last summer, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg set sail to New York on a zero-carbon yacht. She met with world leaders at the Climate Action Summit and UN Climate Conference, to highlight environmental issues. An equivalent flight, whilst much quicker, would pump close to 1,000kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In the same month, at a London-based climate change event, Sir David Attenborough, a nonagenarian and renowned UK broadcaster, naturalist and national treasure said of global warming, “This is not a theoretical problem. The world is warming at an intolerable rate. Humanity as a whole for the first time in history has to deal with a worldwide problem by mutual agreement as to what’s to be done.”
How Can the Relocation Industry Meet this Challenge?
With such efforts around the globe to tackle climate change and as we live in an ever more challenging world, whether it be a global pandemic or local bush fires, it’s important to take a look at what changes can be made closer to home. Cartus is committed to global citizenship and we strive to "do our bit" within our local communities. For example, our UK-based EMEA IT team recently made their third donation of old IT equipment to a local charity who provide computers to schools in Africa.
So what else can we do to reduce our mobility footprint? Here are a few "green" ideas from Cartus, our suppliers and our clients for you to apply to your mobility programme:
- Encourage relocating employees to utilise local "discard and donate" programmes in their home country before a move. This supports local communities and reduces the size (and cost) of household goods shipments.
- Consider reimbursing the cost of recycling unwanted items before a move e.g. the cost of renting a vehicle to take goods to a recycling centre.
- Eliminate paper forms from your mobility programme (unless legally required to keep hard copies).
- Request relocating employees send expense reimbursement documents electronically (unless legally required to hold originals). This saves on printing, postage and storage!
- Encourage the use of hybrid/electric vehicles for relocating employees renting vehicles on assignment. Where appropriate, consider offering bus passes or bicycle allowances instead of a car rental allowance.
Check whether your household goods providers follow these sustainability initiatives:
- Reduction and optimisation of routing and transport options
- Where possible, choosing shipping warehouses that run on carbon neutral, by utilising geothermal energy
- Sharing of loads by putting multiple smaller shipments in the same container
- Use of recyclable packing materials where possible
Here are some general tips to follow across your organisation:
- Video conferencing (even after the pandemic is over!)
- Reduce energy consumption in offices (energy saving monitors, printers, heating and lighting)
- Paper-free offices
- Increase the number of remote employees to cut/reduce carbon emissions
- Introduce "Green Ambassadors" to promote sustainability across your organisation
- Use locally-sourced food and drinks produce in office restaurants and machines
- Replace plastic cups with paper ones
- Switch company cars to hybrid ones
- Offer employees subsidised public transport
- Introduce a car-pool programme or "bike to work" campaign
- Source local office furniture instead of imported
So, what is your organisation doing? Or what do they plan to do? Let us know what ideas you have to drive a sustainable, globally-mobile future in the comments below.