With sustainability obligations for moving companies set to get more extensive in the months ahead, businesses are looking to simplify the complex task of measuring their progress. FIDI’s carbon calculator is being launched early in 2024 to help them do just this, says FIDI’s Sustainability & Strategic Communications Manager, Magali Horbert
Before long, every company will be required to report on its carbon footprint – whether it wants to or not. Legislators around the world are introducing rules and laws to make businesses prove their sustainability credentials, with carbon accounting as the central obligation. But, as with financial accounting, this can become a complicated process that gets messy very quickly.
If you want to know how your business is doing from a sustainability point of view, you need a benchmark for your evolution. We can’t make educated decisions if we don’t have some sort of reliable baseline against which to measure our targets and efforts.
In terms of corporate sustainability, what we are currently seeing is very far from perfect, unfortunately. Many companies are making commitments to ‘net zero’ and carbon-neutral futures, without having a clear plan or science-based targets.
There is no common agreement on, or standardised approach to, what should be measured and how, and no real accountability for the reliability of the reported data. We are also seeing small suppliers struggling to keep up with the many different (and sometimes conflicting) requests to report their sustainability efforts, and using a variety of platforms and reporting frameworks. This Wild West of sustainability reporting is not helping us progress, and most definitely not to a more sustainable way of doing business.
Stepping up on carbon footprint
One of the main tasks of an association such as FIDI is to help its members tackle the most pressing industry-wide challenges, so they can focus on doing business; and from what we have been hearing from FIDI Affiliates and other industry players, sustainability reporting is a huge pain point that companies across the supply chain are currently having to face.
In the global mobility world, the international household goods moving sector is also often singled out as the ‘footprint heavy’ part of the industry. With all of this in mind, and after long reflection, FIDI has decided to provide a carbon calculation tool for our members and their partners, to make one part of their sustainability reporting challenges more straightforward.
The main purpose of this, of course, is to make it easy (and cheap) for any FIDI Affiliate to calculate and report on their carbon footprint. The calculations we provide should follow certain basic requirements: they have to be backed by strong scientific frameworks; they should be flexible, to allow for future developments; and they should be specific enough to account for the complexities of our industry, without getting lost in overly granular details.
For this project to be a success, FIDI needed to find a partner with strong credentials and a proven track record in carbon measurement and sustainability reporting. Someone who understands the needs and challenges of small to medium-sized businesses and complex supply chains. A company big enough to have a truly global reach, but small enough to have the flexibility to adapt to our specific requirements. A long-term strategic partner who can support us in our efforts to define industry standards and drive a heightened awareness of what sustainability really means in our specific industry.
After many conversations with different solution providers across the world, we have decided to partner with Sweden-based Worldfavor.
Worldfavor’s calculation tool ticks all the boxes that a good carbon calculator should, but what really set the company apart from the competition is its proactive approach to really understanding the complexity of our industry and developing the best short- and long-term solution for our needs.
The company’s platform is also comprehensive enough to cater for the specific reporting needs of different companies – offering, for example, the possibility of including data on social and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) requirements. It also provides an extensive knowledge hub, catering for the needs of small to medium-sized businesses; as part of our partnership, we will develop special training and educational material for FIDI members.
The next steps
In November and December, FIDI and a group of industry experts will work with the Worldfavor team to adapt its calculation tool to our industry’s specific needs. This will also be the opportunity to work on industry guidelines on carbon measurement in the relocation industry.
The plan is to launch the first version of the carbon calculation tool early in 2024 for all FIDI members and their partners. This tool will cover all the relocation activities for which emission factors are readily available. As we get more data and feedback from users, we will build on the calculation tool over the coming year, to widen its scope step by step and ensure that it fits the practical needs of our industry.
We need you
As great as this sounds, we must be realistic: we will encounter problems and the project will not start life as perfect – big and complex activities such as this one always go through growing pains. For this to work, we need your help (and your patience). The calculation tool should make your life easier and fit your sustainability reporting requirements. So, we need you to use the tool and share your feedback with us to understand what is working and what isn’t, and where we need to make improvements.
We also need your input on the other ways in which FIDI and Worldfavor could make your sustainability journey less of a pain, because we are on this journey together. As the famous saying goes: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.’
You can find out more about FIDI’s partnership with Worldfavor on worldfavor.com/fidi If you have any comments or questions about this project or FIDI’s sustainability initiatives, please contact Magali Horbert, FIDI’s Sustainability Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org