CSR at the heart of today’s business

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CSR is no longer just a projection for companies into more responsible operation. It is a reality, already well under way in some sectors of activity. It allows problems and management to be included in the operation of the company, including the environment, the well-being of employees and the economy. Of all the sectors of activity, one of the most observed is mobility. It allows employees to move around, but also companies to be able to develop, especially with business mobility. The AFTM (French Association of Travel Management) has just published a white paper dealing with this problem, to draw up a first observation of the situation and turn to longer-term forecasts.

Businessman plane meets customer company
The CSR approach is accelerating with COVID-19.

Making sense of CSR decisions

Globally, economic growth poses more threats to the environment. Companies have understood this, and want to put themselves in a so-called “CSR” approach… Focused on the sustainable development of their activities. Many of them are not aware of their direct and indirect impacts on the environment. Thus, the solution is to find a balance between the environmental, social and societal pillar, but also the economic one. For businesses, the main challenge is to reduce impacts by finding greener solutions, and to include all stakeholders around its operation. An example already well applied by SNCF, the French leader in rail transport.

From the point of view of mobility, one of the key points is the “Carbon Balance”. Since 2015, following the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, companies with more than 500 employees have been required to establish and publish a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report every four years. If they do not comply, the penalty is significant: 10,000 euros in fines, 20,000 euros in case of a repeat offence. The environmental consequences are therefore not to be overlooked, as this also affects the company’s brand image. In fact, the AFTM white paper demonstrates the correlation between environmental quality and human well-being. Many feel concerned about these issues and want to be in a company that takes them into account.

Across all sectors, 75% of companies take CSR’s development issues into account. Moreover, the current health situation reinforces this need to act, the ideal springboard to evolve in favour of a more thoughtful, greener functioning.

Rethinking employee mobility in a sector that is still heterogeneous

Within companies, for example, the desire is to replace transport between the workplace and the home on shared journeys, or even by switching to all-electric. But for this, 30% of companies feel they need support to achieve this. For business travel, the questioning is the same. How can displacement be reconciled with the stakes of a CSR approach? All this without impacting the comfort of the business traveller, at the heart of the process. In this case, the company must determine the best mode of transport, given the distance, or travel time. Accommodation, travel and generally the comfort of the employee are also criteria to be taken into account.

This is an approach to which the latter must be an actor and a partner, in order for his journey to go well. This allows him to better adhere to the approach, rather than going against his habits without being consulted.

To get a clearer picture, companies would like to use common repositories, labels to rely on to make the best possible choices. Today, business mobility is still in its infancy in the CSR approach. Companies do not have a broad enough vision to project themselves, thinking that the CSR approach is primarily an expensive process. On the contrary, it allows the company to smooth its spending division over time… And to have more perspective on the benefits of CSR. On the other hand, there are encouraging factors to encourage the approach. Providers are further ahead in CSR solutions, and can better advise their clients. The impact of environmental issues on humans also reinforces the importance for companies to position themselves in this niche. A future that is being built, step by step.

Sources:

  1. “CSR in business mobility, a reason to be”, AFTM, White Paper of 9 November 2020.
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