Moving Forward on Environmental Policy, Social Responsibility and Good Governance
A Sustainable Return to “Normal”?
Borders have opened up as Covid-19 has become more controlled, and business travel and relocation are surging back. The increased activity puts pressure on a limited supply of people, goods and services that are rushing to keep up with the demand, current geopolitical struggles, and the commitments to make progress relating to the environment, social responsibility, and good governance…collectively, ESG.
As the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda fast approaches, government bodies from Washington to Brussels are preparing policy recommendations which will soon become formal requirements for transparency and accountability in ESG reporting. The business media regularly reports that employees want to work for companies that are both ethically aware and taking concrete action. And business travelers, in increasing numbers, want to know more about their carbon costs and impacts on local economies.
ESG Progress in Business Travel and Relocation
Mobility, by definition, involves air, sea, and land transportation. Flights and property tours, the purchase and disposal of household goods, and furnishing and maintaining serviced apartments. Each of these events has an ESG implication. Relocation policies present an opportunity for businesses to act responsibly in diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as in managing environmental factors. Who gets moved and why? What positive impact can employees bring to their assignment? How aligned are businesses with the local impact of their hiring, expansion, and business travel decisions?
Our industry is working to provide useful frameworks for evaluation and action. Worldwide ERC has organized a Sustainability Advisory Council and is actively communicating research and guidance to its global membership (worldwideeerc.org/sustainability) . CHPA, the Corporate Housing Providers Association, has formed a Sustainability Work Group. The topics of ESG, sustainability, and social responsibility are at the top of the agenda.
Relocation and business travel service suppliers are here to help fulfill their clients’ ESG strategies. Two years ago, RFPs asked, ‘Describe your environmental and corporate social responsibility programs’ without much specificity. Fast forward to 2022, and the expectations have changed, with a clear focus on meaningful progress. “Are your DEI programs formalized?” “Do you have a practice leader for ESG?” “Are you measuring your carbon footprint?” External certifications are attainable, and industry associations are working with corporate policy owners to create KPIs specific to mobility services. Initiatives focused on good governance and sustainable practice increasingly have clear guidelines that eliminate guesswork and enable an objective assessment of supplier performance.
Taking the Lead in Relocation Support Services and the Corporate Housing Space
What’s the best course of action? We believe it is to be informed, to define actions and measure results, and to act in alignment with our core values. In mid-2021, Dwellworks published its initial ESG Impact Report to outline our ESG program. With the positive feedback of our business travel and relocation clients, and the buy-in of other key stakeholders, we’ve defined the goals outlined in our full-year 2021-2022 Impact Report. Our strategic goals include a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, to be recognized as an employer and partner of choice based on our actions in diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility, and to have our governance recognized at the same gold-standard level we have achieved with the compliance diligence of our business operations.
We’ve put concrete action plans in place to achieve these goals. We are working with our clients, operations teams, service networks and corporate housing providers to define a framework for greenhouse gas reduction based on learnings from new ways of working developed during the pandemic. We are also committed to working in close partnership with our supply chain...1500 global destination consultants, thousands of residential real estate appraisers, and 3500+ corporate housing operators in 125 countries…to support transparent and standardized guidelines, so that in making the investments necessary to meet new standards, they are also enabling themselves to earn more opportunity. As always, we’re looking to our associates for creative solutions in the context of our core values: integrity, teamwork, performance, innovation, and fun. Their leadership in community engagement, in diversity and inclusion training, and in carbon-efficient, digital-forward service delivery drives our confidence in meeting ESG goals while pushing new boundaries.
To learn more about our ESG initiatives, please read our 2021-2022 Impact Report.