What a Wonderful World it Would Be

When we talk about sustainability in the corporate world, we focus on a holistic approach. Everything is considered, from manufacturing to logistics to customer service. Going green results in many benefits, including cost savings.

Some companies switch to energy-efficient lighting, or use solar and wind energy, and update to energy-efficient equipment that reduces monthly utility bills. Reducing energy consumption is not only good for business but also for the environment. Sustainable actions reduce the carbon footprint, improve water and air quality, and increase the use of renewable energy sources.

Within the global mobility industry, it’s easy to understand the large carbon footprint that results from a relocation abroad or even across the country. It’s encouraging to see so many corporations taking an active stand toward sustainability. On a recent The View from the Top show, Enno Ommen and Bjoern Minz from Bayer discussed initiatives in their policy that center around sustainability.

Bayer currently has an expatriate population of around 600 expats. Acknowledging that this is quite a large carbon footprint, they started working with their assignees before the relocation on ways to be more sustainable. These included donating or discarding household goods, virtual look-see trips, bicycle allowances, rewards for using green utility companies, and cash allowances instead of using air freight.

Accenture imbues everything they do with sustainability. Julie Sweet, Chair & CEO states, “Today’s rapid acceleration to digital presents us with a breakthrough opportunity to create a more sustainable future.” Accenture has a program called “Green on Assignment,” offering suggestions for assignees on sustainability no matter where they live.

The most important action is to start now and take that first small step. Companies that have sustainability programs are making a difference and this trickles down to their employees. As individuals, we can all contribute by doing small things like planting a tree, recycling, using a green utility supplier, and avoiding pesticides on our lawns. These all make a difference. Keeping in mind that sustainability is a concern throughout the world, Living Abroad has started adding destination-based information to our reports.

Most importantly, sustainability is about being thoughtful to others. We have a moral obligation to each other, to future generations, and to the planet. Our present choices have long-term impact. How can we leave the world a better place for generations to come?