Earth Day, EcoVadis, and Driving Sustainable Change 04.19.2024 | Adam Bowlby

As we gear up for Earth Day, the global conversation around sustainability is at the forefront of our minds. While discussions often revolve around individual actions like recycling or reducing plastic use, there’s another crucial aspect to consider: the role of organizations and broader industries in shaping our environmental future. In fact, studies reveal that the greatest impact will come from something other than a consumer level, but from the corporations who are most in control of how we spend and what we spend it on.

Let’s first look at the global mobility industry. The movement of employees and their goods across international borders certainly leaves a sizable environmental impact. When we factor in the frequency of this movement on behalf of the business traveler population that we support, our footprint swells from the resulting carbon emissions, resource consumption, and environmental degradation.

If we know one thing to be true, it’s that there is always room for improvement. But doing better in our industry will require key players to embrace a willingness to do things differently if we hope to make a tangible collective difference in lessening our impact and safeguarding the health of our planet. While employees are being offered more transparency and the opportunity to make sustainable choices, the larger focus in the global mobility space is coordinating sustainability standards with suppliers and vendors.

What is Weichert Doing to Inspire Change?

At Weichert, our pursuit of Winning Outcomes goes beyond our company, clients, and partners; we also seek to drive success for our communities, and, more broadly, the planet that houses us.

Particularly over the past few years, we’ve sharpened our ESG focus and have worked closely with our partners – like Temporary Living, DSP, and Household Goods Providers — to introduce eco-friendly, sustainable service options for our clients to choose from. And many these sustainable options have been well received by our clients, offering the dual benefits of cutting costs and limiting the carbon impact of their employee relocations.

But to truly demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, we needed metrics to track our progress and measure the effectiveness of these ESG solutions. That’s why, in 2021, we made the decision to partner with EcoVadis, a global leader in corporate sustainability ratings. As the world’s first and largest collaborative platform for trading partners to share, monitor, and assess sustainability performance, a partnership with EcoVadis would enable us to bring our partner providers along on this journey, allowing us to all work towards the same goals and specific targets.

Too often we get stuck in a triangle of inaction: people expect businesses to change their operating or business models, businesses expect governments to put the right policy frameworks or tax incentives in place and governments wait for people to change their behavior. Rather than blaming each other for a lack of action, we need to work together.
Sylvain Guyoton Chief Rating Officer, EcoVadis

EcoVadis ratings are leveraged by over 100,000 companies across 200+ industries in more than 160 countries, facilitating the sharing of sustainability ratings both upstream to stakeholders and through downstream monitoring of their value chains.

The assessment model leverages seven management indicators across 21 criteria — based on leading standards from organizations, including Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact, The International Labor Organization (ILO) and ISO 26000 standards — and supervised by an international scientific committee. Company assessment is based on policies, actions, results, and third-party/external stakeholder performance.

Our EcoVadis Journey

Our assessment began with us providing EcoVadis with our policies, procedures and relevant environmental reports for their experts to review. To be eligible for a medal, a company must achieve a minimum score of 30 in each of the four themes: Environment, Ethics, Labor & Human Rights, and Sustainable Procurement. In our first, second, and third years, we’ve been proud to receive a “Bronze” rating, along with a summary of our strengths and improvement areas.

With each year, we’ve raised our overall score -- from 49 in our inaugural year to 54 in 2022 and, most recently, 59 for 2023. This places Weichert among the top 35% of companies assessed by EcoVadis in the past 12 months. While minor at first glance, these little leaps are not easy to achieve, considering that the EcoVadis assessment criteria change every year. Chasing after a moving target challenges us not to be complacent and ensure that ESG is a continual priority within all of our business activities -- year-round.
Bill Wilson SVP Global Supply Chain

Each year, we have translated our feedback from EcoVadis into a comprehensive, actionable roadmap involving all stakeholders, uniting us on the path to climbing that podium! Some of this is reflected in our most recent CSR Report.

Bold Targets for Meaningful Change

Some of the changes we have already implemented as a result of our EcoVadis review include annualScope 1 & Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions reporting through EarthScope – available at no cost to our supply chain to measure their emissions — and an enhanced Supplier Code of Conduct with a section dedicated to limiting environmental impact. Weichert has also committed to SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative), which provides companies with a clearly defined path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals. More than 4,000 businesses worldwide are part of this initiative, boldly committing to achieving net zero by 2050. Weichert is currently working towards the second step of SBTi’s 5-step process, developing a near-term emissions reduction target in line with SBTi’s criteria.

And we’re only just getting started.

These ratings are more than just a badge of honor. They’re an indicator of our positive intent as a company to continually improve our sustainability management performance and drive impact for our broader communities. As more companies prioritize partnerships with organizations that align with their values, it’s allowed us to connect more deeply with clients and organizations to share a commitment to raising the ESG standard across their companies and industries.

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Written by Adam Bowlby

Adam has worked in the mobility industry for over a decade, with a focus on the global supply chain. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that he channeled his passion for the environment into his role, working closely with EcoVadis to evaluate (and improve) our company and supply chain practices. Today, Adam represents WWM in The Coalition for Greener Mobility; a first-of-its-kind effort with industry organizations such as the CERC, CHPA , EuRA, FIDI Global Alliance, IAM, Worldwide ERC (WERC), and Deloitte.

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