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We recently hosted our Spring 2022 Midlands Global Mobility Forum.

Held at Sustainable venue ‘The Priory Rooms’ in central Birmingham, this in-person event gave Global Mobility professionals around the Midlands area a chance to connect and discuss a range of hot mobility topics. On the agenda this time was Sustainability and Remote Working, featuring guest speakers, Michael Joyce from AirInc, and Johannes de Kam at Warwick University.

Hosting the event was K2’s Executive Business Director, Richard Rutledge:

“As usual, the MGMF was well attended and tackled the complex issue of Sustainability, following on from the December 2021 meeting. It’s clear this particular subject matter is of great importance to Global Mobility and is something we will be continuing to discuss at our forums going forward. 

As the Spring meeting was only our second post-covid in-person event, we will be planning an extra special Winter event for the next MGMF. Please keep a look out for the announcements from the K2 Marketing Team. Thank you to all contributors and attendees for your valuable support.”

About the MGMF

Originally set-up in 2016, the MGMF forms part of our worldwide series of global mobility topic updates and networking events. K2’s aim is to provide a totally impartial opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing amongst global mobility and HR professionals, free of charge.

If you would be interested in attending this event in the future, please reach out to 

Summary of key points

During the event, we focused on two key topics: Sustainability and Remote Working. Both sessions gave attendees a chance to interact and discuss the topics with other attendees and our subject matter experts.

To kick-start the session, Michael Joyce, Senior Director at AirInc, talked us through the results of their recent Remote Working Survey.

192 companies with remote working policies participated.

  • 81% of companies are working to make changes.
  • 53% would like these policies to offer more flexibility to the business.
  • 41% want to better align talent and mobility.

Culture of remote working

  • Many companies allow domestic remote working on a case-by-case basis (38%).
  • A higher percentage of companies do not allow international remote working (32%).
  • This is primarily because companies are worried about tax liabilities for employees working from different countries.

Challenges of remote working

  • Average number of approvers for remote working is 2.2.
  • 50% of organizations require remote workers to verify work authorization in the desired location.
  • Risks associated with this are the company being liable in terms of immigration and tax, if the employee does not have the right to live and work in a particular company.

Remote working salaries

  • 29% of companies say that salary alignment is handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • 23% of companies have national salaries so that no adjustments are needed.

Paul Barnes, K2 Global Sustainability Consultant, supported by Johan De Kam of Warwick University, then held an interactive workshop which focused on Sustainability within Global Mobility.

K2 sustainable actions

  • United Nations Global Compact participant in February 2022
  • Support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • UN Climate Ambition Accelerator program, Net-Zero 2050, SBTi
  • Net Zero Scope 1 & 2 by end of 2023
  • Ambitious carbon footprint reduction in supply chain (Scope 3)
  • Bath University, reduce plastics, waste, sustainable supply chain
  • ISO:14001 since 2015
  • EcoVadis sustainability assessment


  • We have partnered with EcoVadis, a global sustainability ratings company, to make an ongoing assessment of our sustainability credentials and progress.
  • EcoVadis will assess the K2 group scope 1 and 2 emissions which will assist in the aim of us delivering Net Zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by the end of 2023.
  • We have invited our partners to sign up to take part in our industry wide assessment and accreditation scheme.
  • Encouragingly, 40 of our partners have quickly come on-board.

Material footprint

  • Waste production is increasing at an alarming rate.
  • The UN SDGs call for an aggregate global GDP growth of 3% per year.
  • If this rate continues to increase in this way, global material footprint will be at 167 billion tons in 2030, up from 87bn tons in 2015 (Hickel, 2018).

Household Goods Waste (audience discussions)

  • Global Mobility is on a journey to decrease the alarming rate of discard from Household Goods moves.
  • We could reduce the emissions and waste from a move by up to 70% and the only reason this isn’t being achieved is acceptability.
  • Historically it hasn’t been acceptable for Global Mobility, as relocating employees request new materials and the quickest door to door delivery time.
  • A mindset change is needed to ensure acceptability, otherwise any new initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of mobility will have limited success.
  • This mindset change includes the use of rental furniture for temporary accommodation and reusable packing materials.

Zero-waste moves and circularity

  • We need to break link between growth and waste.
  • Re-use, recycle and recover and keep materials at their highest value for as long as possible.
  • Smarter product use and manufacturer – refuse and rethink/ reduce.
  • Extended lifespan of products and its parts – reuse, repair, refurbish.

How do we overcome these challenges? (audience discussions)

  • Education on sustainability for all sectors.
  • Building sustainable practices into the culture of an organisation.
  • Setting expectations for assignees and ensuring sustainable practices are built into every move.
  • Market a ‘green culture’ and ‘sustainable moves’ within companies.
  • Set the default within Global Mobility to re-using materials (i.e. packing boxes).
  • Travelling by greener methods from locations (i.e. rail).

Next Steps…

Preparations are already underway for the next Midlands Global Mobility Forum. If you would be interested in attending this event in the future, please contact

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