Driving Sustainability in Global Mobility and Immigration
How can digital transformation help drive and streamline sustainability initiatives for immigration professionals worldwide?
Sustainability practices have shifted over the last few years: new regulatory standards are emerging, management teams are implementing environmentally-conscious objectives, and a 2021 study revealed that over a third (85%) of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands.
Yet, while 86% of companies have a sustainability strategy in place, a recent report by IBM reveals that only 35% of companies have acted on those initiatives. In fact, only 4 in 10 companies have identified initiatives to close their sustainability gaps or drive positive change. The main roadblock? Sustainability— especially in the immigration and global mobility space— can feel like a massive undertaking.
Global migration has been directly linked to an increase in GHG emissions and inefficient water usage– two factors that can be detrimental to the environment. The good news is that digital transformation can help organizations work towards a sustainable business model gradually by:
- Controlling the intake of resources
- Reducing emissions and waste
- Accelerating production time for more efficient energy use
- Adding positive impact to the environment or community
- Offering environmentally-conscious working conditions and benefits for employees
Here are three key ways a comprehensive tech suite can drive a more sustainable agenda, helping your organization stay adaptive, resilient, and future-proofed in 2022 and beyond.
Reduce and Monitor Resources
According to a report by the Environmental Paper Network, paper consumption recently exceeded 400 million tons per year globally- an unsustainable demand for natural resources that is steadily increasing. Meanwhile, compliance in immigration case management is highly dependent on the proper processing and storage of employment eligibility documents.
While a workflow automation platform digitizes many key processes involving documents— including contracts, form submissions, feedback loops, etc. — it simultaneously provides the opportunity to migrate over old documents into a cloud-based library. This means that an applicant’s information is accurately gathered through a digital interface (not on paper!) and then securely stored throughout the entire application process. An added benefit? When form data is gathered online rather than on paper, forms can save the information and auto-populate when duplicate information is required.
According to a McKinsey report, on average, employees spend 1.8 hours every day (9.3 hours per week) searching and gathering information. In contrast, workflows and digitized forms can be designed and published in just hours or days, slashing turnaround time on a document or asset by up to 80% while ensuring it remains visible and accessible at all times.
Beyond enhancing labor (and paperwork)- intensive processes, professionals in the global immigration space should start seeing workflow automation and AI as opportunities to consume less energy, cut energy bills, and optimize output. Research from PwC estimates that using AI for environmental applications in agriculture, water, energy, and transportation could contribute up to $5.2 trillion to the global economy while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 4% worldwide by 2030.
Leverage Analytics for Driving Sustainability
Collecting and analyzing actionable environmental insights can help immigration teams improve sustainable decision-making and identify new areas to improve efficiency. It’s also become increasingly necessary to monitor external disruption to business operations based on weather or environmental risk through AI-driven data. Take Google’s DeepMind team, for example, which has leveraged machine-learning algorithms to predict wind patterns 36 hours in advance of deliveries to optimize their traveling times on the power grid.
By leveraging intelligent environmental analytics to monitor, predict, and prevent condition-based setbacks or opportunities, immigration experts now have the unique opportunity to optimize travel guidelines, streamline case management, and minimize costs. This data can also be used to measure overall environmental impact and drive compliance.
There are countless ways digitizing your processes and investing in technology can help drive sustainable practices. Researching and discovering the best strategies to digitize can lead to lower costs, reduced waste, an improved applicant experience, better compliance, and optimized resilience in our new era.
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