The matter of sustainability has moved from being an urgent issue to a requirement to doing business, with many client RFPs requiring transparency of sustainability. As we’ve previously explored, there’s a lot to do if we want to achieve sustainability in mobility, but work is already well underway.
So what can YOU do?
'An Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programme will help your business look beyond financial goals and begin to develop value within society.'
Well, the first step is to build a plan of action to make your business a sustainable service provider. However, knowing where to start can be a challenge.
Thankfully EuRA, in collaboration with the Coalition for Greener Mobility, has produced a new white paper covering sustainable development goals for Destination Service Providers (DSPs). This includes details of the framework DSPs should use to develop and meet sustainability goals in all areas of their business.
The aim is to help you create your own Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programme. It will help your business look beyond financial goals and begin to develop value within society. Part of this includes considering then managing environmental sustainability and social responsibility issues. An effective ESG programme should also describe how you monitor and review your performance and manage your business.
We recommend that ABRA members develop and adopt an ESG programme as a matter of best practice. To get you started, here are our top take aways from each section of the EuRA Sustainability White Paper.
A good ESG programme should be built into the fabric of your business. Your environmental planning should consider every operational perspective of your business, from the office to service delivery.
Within the office, consider:
- Power suppliers – choosing suppliers who provide renewable energy has never been easier. This will have an instant impact on your business’s carbon footprint.
- Paper consumption – the world has never been more digital. It’s worth taking the time to see which of your business practices can be taken fully digital. Moving away from printing unnecessarily will not only protect natural resources, but also save your business money in paper purchases and storage solutions.
- Training – Ensuring that your team is fully up to date with business policy and best practices will help minimise your carbon footprint.
Service delivery can also have a strong impact on how sustainable your business is:
- Work with the right people – ensure that you’re working with other companies who share your sustainability goals. If they don’t, provide them with guidelines covering your requirements and support them to become compliant with your needs.
- Help your assignee – Providing information on public transport, sustainable power suppliers and recycling options will help your assignee start sustainably.
- Consider how you move – Is it possible to use public transport or even to cycle for your team? Can service delivery occur at the weekend when traffic may be lower? By being conscious and minimising use of fossil fuelled powered vehicles, you can cut carbon emissions and save money.
The social side of an ESG programme is where you consider how your business impacts wider society. We’re not just talking about the environment though, this is also about the wellbeing and quality of life of customers, assignees and suppliers.
By considering what impact your business has on the lives of others, you can quickly develop a plan to be a positive force within your community.
- Take care of your team – look at ensuring your team has a positive work life balance, that vacation means time off, not less calls, and that stress is kept to a minimum. You should also ensure that you’re providing an environment where your staff can develop skills and feel fairly compensated for their time.
- Financial transparency – create and enforce equal pay and payment best practice policies. Also allocate annual budget to train your team and to achieve the business’s ESG goals.
- Bring your customers along – inform and educate your customers on sustainability best practices. Making your own ESG programme easily accessible and a prominent part of your messaging can help here too.
- Encourage your community – by actively engaging with your local community, your business can be a force for good for all. This can take the form of charitable work, sponsorships, internships or encouraging employees to let you know what the business could be involved in.
All DSPs are subject to checks, best practices, areas of compliance, reporting and policies to ensure their ethical and legal operation. ESG governance ensures accurate reporting, transparency of operations whilst pursuing integrity and diversity within leadership.
Key areas to think about within your business include:
- Compliance – consider the policies and practices your business needs to follow. This can include GDPR, anti-money laundering and anti-bribery policies.
- ESG/Sustainability Advocacy and Ownership – The success of any far-reaching policy hinges on consistent implementation. Tasking one or members of your team to own and implement the ESG programme is a great step towards success.
- Risk Management – it’s crucial that you consider factors inside and outside your own business. Completing risk assessment of suppliers, partners and your own workforce will give you a clearer picture of business vulnerabilities and ways you and others can improve.
- Write it down – Your entire ESG programme should be documented and available. There’s no point in creating a policy unless everyone who needs it can access and use it.
If you’d like to read the white paper in full, you can request your copy from the EuRA website. The EuRA sustainability framework is a living document, so it doesn’t cover every possible situation. If you think something important is missing, we’d love to hear about it to get it added to future versions.
ABRA is working towards our own ESG programme, which we aim to have in place during 2024. Our Sustainability Committee will define the programme roadmap, and objectives. Once completed, we will pass this on to all members and make it available to all.
If you would like to help with this process, then members may join our Sustainability Committee. If you would like more information, please contact us here.
You also might enjoy EuRA’s Sustainability Training Series, an interactive webinar programme. To find out more, or to access the session recordings, visit EuRA.