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Reconnecting face-to-face in a climate-conscious world

While convenient, virtual meetings can’t fully replicate the power of in-person interactions. Non-verbal cues, spontaneity, and the energy of shared space contribute to trust, understanding, and ultimately, sharper collaboration. Pre-pandemic travel patterns could have been better, but dismissing in-person meetings entirely ignores these significant benefits.

The answer lies in strategic, mindful choices with multiple co-benefits:

Reducing emissions: Connecting locally

  • Prioritise local clients: Connect with nearby clients face-to-face, favouring trains or carpooling for reduced emissions and increased productivity during commutes.
  • Embrace hybrid approaches: Combine virtual elements with smaller, local teams for distant clients, fostering strong relationships while saving travel time and costs.
  • Optimise travel when necessary: Choose the most fuel-efficient mode – trains, buses, or carpooling – for reduced emissions, individual cost savings, and potential networking opportunities.
  • Advocate for change: Encourage clients and organisations to prioritise sustainable travel options and infrastructure development, contributing to a wider positive impact on the environment and society.

Beyond the footprint: Optimizing for more than the environment

  • Maximising time: Careful planning and efficient travel modes can minimise travel time while maximising productivity, boosting your personal efficiency and client satisfaction.
  • Boosting well-being: Balancing virtual and in-person interactions offers both focused solitude and stimulating social interaction, contributing to increased personal well-being and potentially enhancing creativity during client meetings.

Leading the way: Beyond words, actions that speak volumes

As consultants, we have the opportunity to champion sustainable practices in a post-pandemic world. By demonstrating that face-to-face connections can thrive alongside environmental responsibility, we can:

  • Inspire clients and organisations to embrace sustainable travel solutions, driving positive change within the business community.
  • Drive wider change by advocating for infrastructure development that prioritises sustainability, contributing to a more liveable and environmentally friendly future for all.
  • Become exemplars of walking the walk, showcasing how success can be achieved while minimising our environmental impact, building trust and respect with clients who share similar values.

Leading by example: Cynnal Cymru’s commitment to sustainable client meetings

While the pandemic sparked the widespread adoption of virtual meetings, the desire for face-to-face client interaction is undeniably returning. At Cynnal Cymru, however, we recognise that prioritizing the planet shouldn’t come at the expense of strong client relationships. That’s why we’ve implemented specific measures to ensure our consultations are both fruitful and environmentally responsible.

Our travel policy: Walking the talk

  • Active Travel First: We prioritise walking, cycling, and public transport for all local meetings. By making this the default option, we minimise emissions and promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Open Communication: We openly discuss our travel policy with clients, explaining our commitment to sustainability and encouraging them to explore eco-friendly travel options when visiting our office.
  • Transparency and Tracking: We’ve added a dedicated line in our expense claims for employees to specify their mode of travel and destination. This allows us to monitor our impact and identify areas for further improvement.
  • No to Flights: As an organisation, we’ve made a conscious decision to avoid air travel entirely. While this may restrict our geographic reach, it underscores our unwavering dedication to minimising our carbon footprint.
  • Sustainable Directions: We provide clients with detailed instructions on reaching our office using public transport, cycling routes, and walking and wheeling paths. This empowers them to make informed choices that align with their own sustainability values.

Beyond the policy: Continuous improvement

While we’ve made significant strides, we acknowledge that there’s always room for growth. One area we’re focusing on is onboarding new staff. We recognise that not everyone instinctively integrates active travel into their business travel routines. We have incorporated sustainability awareness training into our onboarding process to ensure everyone understands and embraces our travel policy.

Join the conversation

We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on navigating the balance between client relationships and environmental responsibility. Together, we can pave the way for a sustainable future for all.

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