As business gets to grips with new legislative requirements and customer and staff demands on environmental performance, FIDI has published new straightforward guidelines to help Affiliates make meaningful and permanent changes to their operations. FIDI’s Communications and Marketing Manager Magali Horbert reports
The world seems to be waking up to the reality of the climate crisis – and about time, Greta et al might say. Those still in doubt, or denial, are facing increasing pressure from customers, business partners and legislators to ‘go green’.
In the world of international moving and relocation, this reality is dawning on us, too.
For the past months – and certainly since the COP26 in Glasgow – social media, especially LinkedIn, is awash with companies making grand statements of ‘net zero’, cutting down on their carbon footprint, and planting trees to mitigate their impact on the environment.
A swarm of consultants, specialists, CO2 measurement and offsetting platforms have cropped up, offering quick-fix solutions to measure, improve, offset, and ‘certify’ a company’s sustainability efforts. Many of these proposals are easy to identify as mere greenwashing; but without a clear set of common references and standards, it is the Wild West out there, and there are plenty of sustainability cowboys around.
Understanding the ins and outs of such a complex concept as ‘sustainability’ can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to figure out how to make a real and proven impact, and who to trust. To help make sense of it all for the moving business, we have decided to break ‘environmental sustainability’ down into understandable and relatable guidelines, and practical steps, using real-life examples from FIDI Affiliates across
This was the driving force behind the recently published FIDI guide, How to become environmentally sustainable in the moving business. With this document, we aimed to show that sustainability is, above all, a mindset and an ongoing journey, where small steps lead the way to real change.
You do not need to be a big corporation with a complex sustainability strategy and a big budget. As the testimonials from the participants in our FIDI sustainability focus group show, it starts with identifying the change you want to make, and then doing it step by step, within the means and specific context of your company.
The next FAIM Standard, due to be implemented in January 2023, will include corporate sustainability requirements as a first step to set benchmarks in our sector, and we will continue to make the complex world of sustainability more relatable through educational activities, reports and guidelines, and by sharing best practices that have proven their worth.
Beyond the need of creating awareness, one thing that all participants (and anybody else I have spoken to over the past year) agrees on is that cooperation is fundamental. In FIDI, we acknowledge that really tackling the broader issue of sustainability in the international moving industry is bigger than our association.
This is why we will continue to create spaces for deep conversations with fellow industry associations, partners from the entire relocation supply chain, and external specialists, to help us map and build the road to greater and meaningful sustainability in the relocation industry – one step at a time.
The Guiding Principles of an environmentally sustainable mover
In the report published in January, we defined a set of leading principles that define our actions as ‘green movers’. Here is a summary with very practical steps – for further details and examples, you can download the full document at fidi.org/publications
1. Accept and embrace change
- Integrate sustainability in your daily operations
- Start as soon as possible
- Appoint a dedicated sustainability team in your organisation; give it the power to hold your company accountable
2. Show and incentivise leadership
- Speak up whenever you see an opportunity, in your local community or your business sector; make use of your membership to trade or business groups to take a stand
- Make a public statement, even if the audience is small; start by publishing a sustainability pledge on your company’s website
3. Goals and tracking
- Take stock of your current processes and situation; where can you identify easy wins and quick improvements?
- Choose your metrics: identify how you can measure each area and set goals for each
- Make a realistic timetable and allocate resources (time, people and money, if necessary) to reach the set goals
- Evaluate and adjust where necessary – and don’t give up!
4. Seek impact through collaboration
- Build organisation-wide accountability by training and incentivising your staff
- Involve your suppliers and build a sustainable supply chain; offer your assistance to come up with sustainable solutions together
Educate your customers: explain what you are doing and the impact it has
Cooperate and share best practices with your industry peers
- Create transparency around the process
- Explain possible cost increases for clients and partners
- Celebrate your wins and discuss your failures
- Advertise your green moves (but don’t fake it…)
Thanks to the participants of the FIDI sustainability focus group
- Katherin Crispoca, Moving and Relocation Sales Director, Intramar Shipping SAS (Colombia)
- Jessica Deutschmann,
Partner Relations Manager, Gosselin (Switzerland) and FIDI 39 Club President
- Thomas Finlay, General Manager, AMJ Campbell (Canada)
- Dan Graebel, Supplier Development Regional Manager, Graebel (USA)
- Mikko Loikkanen, Head of International Services, Niemi Services Ltd (Finland)
- Lydia E Cabral Huachin, Administration Director, Trafimar Relocation Services (Mexico)
- Michael Hughes, Vice President Global Business Development, Arpin International Group (USA) and FIDI 39 Club Board member
- Frances Kirton, Customer Service Manager, Classic Moving & Storage (Singapore)
- Ana Paula Lima, Quality Supervisor, Netmove (Brazil)
- Aulina Mithal Sood, Director, Star Worldwide Group and FIDI Board member
- Catherina Stier, Key Account Manager, Harsch, The Art of Moving Forward (Switzerland)
- Max Neumann, Member of the Management Board, Streff (Luxembourg)
- Swapnaja Rasam, Senior Manager Supply Chain Intl. Moving, Writer Relocations (UAE)
- José Luis Tabuenca, Head of Marketing and Sales, SIT (Spain)
- Anthony Weil, Environment Services Manager, Pickfords (UK)
The full How to be environmentally sustainable in the moving business guidelines document can be
downloaded on the publications page of the FIDI website.
If you want to know more about FIDI’s sustainability projects or want to participate in the conversation, contact Magali Horbert at: Magali.Horbert@fidi.org