Sustainable Global Mobility

The focus on sustainability is increasing in global corporations, but what does it mean for employee mobility? This report, next in the series of research initiatives in association with the RES Forum, introduces the CHESS Framework©, a tool designed to help Mobility professionals evaluate and manage sustainability as part of their company’s overall ESG goals.


In today’s world, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) are strategic considerations for companies and investorsIt’s become increasingly important for mobility teams to create viable ESG plans and develop well thought-out sustainability strategies in response to both the new employee demographic and recent world events. The concept of sustainability is critical to the more environmentally, socially conscious generation of globally mobile workers who are on the rise and on the move.

There are three fundamental questions to ask regarding how a company approaches, prioritizes, and measures their ESG performance alongside their sustainability programs and initiatives.

  • What actualy is a good approach to sustainability?
  • How do effective sustainability approaches look in organizations?
  • What are the levers and limits to sustainability approaches in Global Mobility?

The RES Forum’s recent report addresses this topic and presents the CHESS Framework, a 5-pillar model which provides the guardrails for achieving sustainability in a global mobility context. The report also includes a CHESS self-assessment tool to help companies evaluate their current approach to sustainability, as well as a comprehensive list of recommendations to help guide Mobility professionals throughout the development process. The dimensions of CHESS include:

C: Cultural Sustainability

H: Human Resource and Corporate Sustainability

E: Environmental Sustainability

S: Social Sustainability

S: Sustainable Financial and Macro-Economic Goals and Actions

Importantly, the CHESS Framework recognizes the broad scope of sustainability with the social and environmental elements referenced by the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profits.

The RES Forum contends that this is the time for Global Mobility to lead the charge in terms of how best to prioritize sustainable strategies while minimizing potential impact on assignees and ensuring that companies remain focused on their goals and corporate values. As companies move toward net-zero, Mobility will be required to formulate sustainable policies and suppliers will be expected to meet criteria around sustainability. To take it a step further, globally mobile employees may be incentivized to act and make sustainable decisions.

Ultimately, The RES Forum’s research concluded that a key goal of sustainability strategy should be to understand all stakeholders’ interactions, systemic behaviors, and potential barriers to determine how positive change can be achieved. The ideal solution is a framework aligned with mobility programs that allows a controlled systematic approach to debate and plan the actions that need to be taken.