Looking at the mobility industry, it is easy to see how it is changing and evolving before our very eyes. As global HR leaders predict a rise in the mobility of their workforces through different sources, how does 2020 and beyond look to be shaped for the global mobility industry?
On many sides…quite good. Technology is progressing rapidly, companies are becoming more ethical, honest and working cohesively. The market is shifting and giving smaller companies opportunities to root into a sector that was once heavily dominated by larger companies. This provides a more flexible industry and greater focus on driving a cost-conscious environment. Leading clients in the world of global mobility are thinking differently and adopting a positive approach to employee experience, allowing for changes in mindset and delivery. Like many I am looking to the coming year with great anticipation, hope and inspiration.
Though my excitement runs wild and free, in the corner of my eye I also recognise a world that is changing along with our industry. It is changing in a way that I am less hopeful of, and how we adapt now is key to the future of the mobility industry. To take a recent example, the California wildfires have increased, in area burned annually, since the 1970’s by 500% (The World Meteorological Organization: CNN), whilst wildfires are naturally normal in this region, the increase in area they consume cannot be attributed to natural growth. Questions we could ask ourselves is how this will affect population levels and movement in the California area, not only for our clients but as transit routes and import facilities. This is a map taken from the San Francisco Chronicle to indicate potential fire risks.
Typhoons such as the one to hit Japan for the 2019 Rugby world cup are also becoming more common, and more intense. This Typhoon killed 88 people and has cost Japan 10 Billion US Dollars (Insurance journal) during a time of celebration and global attention. As these extreme weather conditions become more common and more devastating, what could this mean for the future of cost estimates and actual move costs, due to fires, floods and hurricanes? Do cost estimates need to look at rising insurance premiums for long term assignments for these regions, could safe countries such as Japan now need hardship allowances or risk to life warnings? Not yet, but this is a future that may not be far away and one we should all be thinking about.
"Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time". (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NASA))
Many people will say “well what can I do to reduce my footprint, I have a reusable coffee cup, I am a good person”. To which I need to refer to the words of George R.R. Martin ‘Oh my sweet summer child’ ignorance truly is bliss. We are all a bit guilty of something no matter what the issues are, I have a bike which I don’t ride to work because it’s a bit too cold for example. However, one drive we could take is to use less paper, human beings have cut down 46% of the worlds trees in our modern history (National Geographic) so maybe don’t print that 100 page policy, take PowerPoints and not print outs and use your tie to mop up spilled coffee?
The mobility industry has a responsibility due to our involvement in global warming crisis. None of us can say we do not have a carbon footprint. What we can do however is start looking down, tracing our steps and finding ways to lengthen our strides, lift the weight of our imprint and carry our clients and organisations into a cleaner future.
There are many ways we can do this. Technology will be a huge enabler in this effort to track our footprint and reduce our unneeded waste. Recycling, cycling initiatives, stricter travel policies, implementing green controllers into your office i.e. people who encourage, promote and enhance your green policy, education of employees on parts of your business that have high environmental impacts to elicit ideas in change. Other ways which would have huge impact is by working with conscious suppliers, helping clients with talent mobility to ensure they get the right people first time, recommending and promoting green policy ideas, reducing unneeded movement, and just by speaking honestly with suppliers, clients and ourselves.
To draw once again from pop culture ‘with great power, comes great responsibility’ we have a good opportunity to make a big impact individually, and as global companies, to show other industries what can be achieved with a little effort.
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/29/us/wildfires-california-by-the-numbers-wxc-trnd/index.html / https://climate.nasa.gov/effects / https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2019/11/08/548005.htm / https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/