A while back, the team at Globiana started talking about how we can make a difference when it comes to the issue of sustainability. The question posed was something along the lines of how we can work to incorporate both environmentally and socially sustainable values and actions into our offerings while maintaining the same quality of products and services (or, make them even better). What would that look like for a company like ours, and why is it important?
The initial query led to additional questions such as what is our broader responsibility in the world of global mobility — sustainability is, after all, a global issue. Part of our “job description”, for example, is to educate and support companies and their employees on everything surrounding working and living abroad. It seems natural that that should include environmental, social, and governance (ESG, for short) sustainability issues. And, to some degree, these have always been present in our work. However, they have never been a spelled out priority.
Likewise, there has long been individual involvement in sustainability among the team members at Globiana, but there has not been a coordinated company-wide effort, and, while there has been an ongoing informal discussion among individuals, there has never been a clear company goal of how we want to address the issues.
So, now the question is, how can Globiana — or any company for that matter — make a commitment to make a difference? And why should we take this on as a company (beyond the obvious reasons why we all need to be working for a more sustainable world)?
Camilla Degerth, a coach for Globiana who is also a member of the Climate Coaching Alliance says that the first thing to know is that there is no one way to do this. Many who work in the field of sustainability are still trying to determine the best ways to tackle ESG from a corporate point of view. What is clear is that implementation will be different depending on who you are. Camilla points out that the key is to make your efforts operational and not just paper products. In order to do that, she suggests starting with a discussion about what this would look like specifically for your company, in your business sphere. What makes sense based on your products/services/employees/customers? The more well-defined, the better.
We all know that sustainability is a critical issue — for our environment, for social equity, and for governance — in short, for a functioning society and a living planet. But there are also business reasons for why implementing sustainability into operations makes sense.
Consider research from Lightspeed that found that 90% of millennials see sustainable practices as crucial when choosing an employer, and it is clear that this is a tool to improve retention as well as to attract new hires. The retailer Patagonia is an example of a company that has a sustainable profile and a company culture that incorporates its values in practical ways with a range of green programs and ways for employees to engage. They attribute their low turnover rate (4%) in large part to their sustainability efforts.
You can save resources and money by implementing sustainable practices in everyday operations. Disney, for example, has a biogas facility that produces heat and electricity from their organic waste that helps power homes and that reduces Disney’s power consumption. Another approach comes from Intel which has tied some of its employees’ compensation to individual recycling metrics in a goal to become a zero-waste company.
Camilla uses her own experience as a coach as an example of how you can apply your expertise and have an impact. In coaching people who are looking to make a difference in their organizations, she has found that one of the most powerful tools she can provide is confidence — the confidence to talk to senior people about sustainability issues, for example, or the confidence to institute a change or the confidence to set a goal.
So, as we continue our efforts of incorporating sustainability into our business, we do so with the recognition that our steps and commitments are unique to us. However, we do believe that the responsibility to work towards a more sustainable world is universal.
By: Felicia Shermis