Despite the Pandemic, Global Companies Remain Committed to Sustainability

Eric House - Jul 29 2021
Published in: Mobility
| Updated Apr 27 2023
According to a global study of sustainability experts, companies have remained committed to sustainability despite the pandemic.

When the pandemic became an all-too-harsh reality in 2020, many leaders wondered what affect the health crisis would have on the progress being made on sustainability, especially when a tight economy meant that companies might prioritize other initiatives. According to a global study of 700 sustainability experts from 70 countries, however, the worry was perhaps overblown.

Last year, half of the sustainability experts surveyed believed that corporate sustainability would be completely sidelined as a result of the virus. Now, only one in four (24%) believe this will happen. In fact, the experts say that the COVID-19 crisis has enhanced our understanding of how destruction of the environment and the spread of disease are linked, and that more companies are focused on environmental issues.

The results of that survey are compounded by results from additional research from Stanford University, which found that a majority of surveyed companies (93%) have either maintained or increased sustainability commitments during the pandemic. Additional research has also revealed that over the past two years, executives have placed considerable importance on delivering upon sustainability targets.

Environmental responsibility: the right thing to do, while enhancing business performance

In recent years, the concept of “corporate sustainability” has gained traction, with many businesses recognizing the role they can play in ensuring that economic growth is tied to health of the environment. When paired with other terms like “corporate social responsibility” and “sustainable development,” it represents an evolving paradigm for companies to consider when seeking to understand the impact a business can have on the environment.

In January, it was reported that executive boards are putting more emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities, such as climate change. Four in five respondents (78%) are planning to incorporate more ESG into their executive planning over the next three years. Why the shift towards ESG priorities? Most respondents indicated that not only is it the right thing to do, but 78% indicated they believe ESG is a key contributor to strong financial performance. Overall, ESG priorities are driven by “the desire to increase their organizations’ long-term value (79%), moral and ethical reasons (80%) and alignment with the business strategy (74%).”

Sustainability in mobility

Mobility is no stranger to environmental sustainability, especially as the issue becomes more important for employers and employees in the 21st century. As the world slowly but surely opens up over the next year and relocation increases, taking sustainable steps to reduce mobility’s carbon footprint can include:

  • Using paperless file management, instead opting for electronic processes and documentation, including reimbursement documents, when applicable
  • Rely upon hybrid or electric vehicles for transportation, or including bus or bicycle passes in packages
  • Utilize “discard and donate” programs for household goods to pay it forward while reducing the amount of new products being made and reducing the size and cost of goods shipment
  • Incorporate small but worthwhile changes in housing, such as placing recycling receptacles in each home or eco-friendly products

While these are just a few small ways companies can get started on taking tangible steps towards environmental sustainability, a little can go a long way. Not only can these steps attract talent, improve business performance and enhance mobility’s impact, it can make the environment more sustainable and the world a better place to live for everyone.

Registration for the 2021 Global Workforce Symposium is Now Open!

Global Workforce Symposium 202One is about bringing the industry together as one and it’s time to celebrate all that global mobility professionals do to keep the world moving. We’re excited to welcome the entire industry under one roof for the first time in two years! Don’t miss this year's largest global mobility meeting. Just as we've done for many years, we're bringing together verticals across the mobility and relocation industry for an event that will feature all of the parts you've come to love over the years plus a few new surprises! Register now for GWS: 202One, taking place 19-22 October in Chicago, Illinois here!