As the world becomes more connected each year, doing business internationally is becoming more normalized. These days, it is not uncommon for a company to send individuals or teams overseas to conduct business and find potential new avenues for revenue. With working abroad becoming a new norm, it raises questions about sustainability. Domestically, companies have many resources at their disposal to ensure that their business practices are sustainable, but when they are sending employees overseas they have to consider inventive ways to remain sustainable.
Digital Preventative Healthcare
As eco-tourism and sustainable tourism grow in popularity, more and more companies are beginning to take notice and turn their attention to sustainable practices for their own international travels. While companies can seek out ecologically sustainable lodging and transportation for their employees while they’re overseas, there are other ways to go green with international business. Encouraging employees to embrace digital preventative healthcare is one way for companies to keep their employees healthy and happy, and it can have a serious impact on a company’s bottom line as well.
Family Nurse Practitioners suggest the use of wearable tech and apps for smartphones to help track personal health. By using fitness tracking devices and condition monitoring apps, employees can stay ahead of any potential medical issues they might encounter while abroad or manage existing health problems. This can also help encourage employees to make healthier decisions while traveling abroad for business.
This act of taking charge over their own preventative healthcare can help businesses stay green in a few ways. First, if employees of any given company become sick in a rural area, they will either end up using some of the limited resources available to the rural population there, or have to travel into a more urban area to receive treatment. Not only does avoiding the hospital when traveling abroad save important medical supplies for the locals, but helps to reduce the use of fossil fuels by eliminating the need for travel to larger cities for treatment.
While engaging in sustainable tourism as an individual is relatively easy, as individuals can manage their impact without too much trouble, things are a bit different for large corporations. Businesses may have more resources to make larger environmentally conscious decisions for their international work, but keeping track of the small stuff can be a chore. For this reason, companies often act on the choices that will have the largest impact with the least hassle.
One of the easiest ways for larger companies to reduce their environmental impact for their employees working abroad is to actively engage in the green insurance market. The idea behind green insurance is that when an insured building abroad suffers damage, green insurance goes towards rebuilding those offices to be more efficient and environmentally friendly. The positive effects of green insurance can be compounded if businesses choose to invest in green office space from the start, effectively ensuring that no matter what happens they’ll remain sustainable.
Even businesses like online realtors can see environmentally beneficial effects from business insurance. These types of businesses still require a physical location for them to conduct their business, despite the fact that most of it will take place online. Aside from the benefits of green insurance, these companies can rely on online business insurance to protect them from liabilities or data breaches than can result in major loss of profits.
Those working abroad instead of simply vacationing overseas tend to find that being eco-friendly while they travel is much easier. For starters, since these individuals are there for work, chances are that they aren’t coming during peak tourist season, which can put serious strain on delicate ecosystems. Additionally, while your regular tourist will most likely engage in quite about of traveling to different locations while on vacation, those working abroad tend to stay in whatever city their job needs them in.
On the macro-scale, this could be considered a part of sustainable business practice implemented by a corporation. Corporate sustainability exists with the goal of having a positive, neutral, or at least heavily reduced impact on the environment while still maintaining profitability as a business. Corporations do this by focusing on internal consistency, external credibility, and forging positive relationships with other socially and environmentally conscious entities.
While corporate sustainability is not an entirely new idea, it is still slow to become widespread in its use. However, as more MBA students learn about the importance of corporate sustainability, we can expect to see a boon to environmental efforts worldwide in the coming years. As the acknowledgement of the effects of climate change on the environment becomes more widespread, consumers, employees, and even the corporations themselves understand how important it is to curb our contribution to climate change.