August 16, 2023

Meet Sterling Lexicon’s ESG Manager: Lyndsey Browne

Not many people can credit a life and career-changing moment to an experience atop Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. But for Lyndsey Browne, that’s exactly where she was when she knew she had to do more to protect and preserve the environment. As she took in the stunning beauty of the glaciers near the summit, her guide informed her that they were sadly predicted to be completely melted away due to climate change by 2033. That experience – and stark forecast – made a lasting impression on Lyndsey, Group Bid Manager for Sterling Lexicon. She vowed to do more.

With that personal passion and the support of her executive management team and colleagues behind her, Lyndsey has taken the lead on several key sustainability initiatives for Sterling Lexicon, including:

    • Achieving and maintaining EcoVadis certification
    • Upholding the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) 
    • Prioritizing an initial focus on five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where the company can have the greatest impact
    • Leading employee champion groups focused on the environment, well-being and DE&I

In recognition of her dedication, knowledge and successes, Lyndsey was recently appointed environmental, social and governance (ESG) Manager, where she’ll dedicate even more of her time and focus on forwarding the company’s priorities and goals. 

We asked her to share some valuable observations about what she’s learned and what she sees for the future.

Lyndsey Browne glacier photo

Q. Over the course of your career responding to RFPs and RFIs of all types and sizes, you’ve gained unique insights into the services multinationals want most to support their business strategies and employees through domestic and cross-border talent movement. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the last few years as they relate to questions around ESG in relocation proposals?

A. The biggest changes I’ve seen fall into three areas: 1) a significantly increased focus on and prioritization of these initiatives, 2) a much more integrated, holistic approach to problem solving and 3) growing requests for what we can do as a relocation management company to help clients and partners drive improvements in their own ESG programs.

The world is witnessing a new urgency around ESG, which has evolved from what we used to call corporate social responsibility (CSR) and initiatives that largely centered on charitable contributions and voluntary community service, to a critical need to work together to do the right thing and be responsible citizens across all business functions.

Our collective understanding of ESG has evolved into a much more sophisticated, cohesive approach. We no longer talk about climate impact as a separate, siloed issue, for example, and topics traditionally associated with compliance, such as data privacy and anti-corruption, are now viewed in the greater context of human rights criteria. We’re looking at what can be achieved across the full spectrum of equity, peace, justice, wellbeing, security and responsible consumption – and where businesses, government agencies and other institutions can work together to drive meaningful change.

The types of questions asked and level of information requested in proposals are now much more detailed and advanced, with the top priorities being environmental, data privacy and DE&I. Prospective clients are asking not only what we’re doing as a company, but how we can help them forward their own ESG goals through talent mobility as well. 

Q. What are some of the specific ESG initiatives Sterling Lexicon is currently pursuing?

A.  We are committed to forwarding our own ESG priorities and helping our customers and partners achieve their goals through several initiatives and industry partnerships. We’ve prioritized those areas where we feel we can have the most impact through our business activities while ensuring we stay focused on the four core areas that define the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) principles: human rights, labor, the environment and anti-bribery and corruption.


Sterling Lexicon has upheld the ten principles of and been a signatory to the UNGC since 2013, via our EMEA and APAC entities. We use those principles to help us build and measure our own company framework and take advantage of the many free training programs they offer to keep us up-to-date. While we’re committed to all 17 of the United Nation’s Sustainability Goals (SDGs), we’ve identified five to focus on first, and that most closely align with our business, strategic vision and company values:

    • 3 – Good Health and Well-being
    • 10 – Reduced Inequalities
    • 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
    • 13 – Climate Action and 
    • 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

UN Sustainable Development Goals

More details on how we map those goals to our own strategic priorities and business practices can be found in our Contributions towards the Sustainable Development Goals 2023 report .


We have also pursued and maintain sustainability ratings from EcoVadis, a globally recognized organization working with more than 100,000 companies in 175 countries to monitor and improve sustainable performance. 

The objective of the EcoVadis methodology is to measure the quality of a company’s sustainability management system through its policies, actions and results. Sterling Lexicon EMEA and APAC’s Silver rating puts us in the top 25% of organizations measured and is a testament to the entire team’s commitment to upholding our sustainability principles. 

EcoVadis Silver rating symbol

It’s a rigorous assessment, focusing on twenty-one criteria that are grouped into four themes: Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement. These criteria are based on international standards, and companies are weighted on their policies (25%), actions, including training, certifications and third-party audits (40%) and reporting on key performance indicators (35%). 

The Coalition for Greener Mobility

Our team is also committed to forwarding the goals of the moving and employee relocation industry’s “Coalition for Greener Mobility,” launched late last year by six major industry associations:

    • CERC (Canadian Employee Relocation Council)
    • CHPA (Corporate Housing Providers Association)
    • EuRA (the European Relocation Association)
    • FIDI Global Alliance 
    • IAM (International Association of Movers) and 
    • Worldwide ERC (the workforce mobility association)

Our Managing Director, Peter Sewell, serves on an advisory committee, helping fellow members of the Coalition formalize efforts to improve ESG practices across all areas of global mobility. By working together, we know we can have a much more meaningful impact. We’re currently focused on helping the Coalition achieve its first four key objectives:

    1. To promote a common understanding of good practices and actions to improve sustainable outcomes across the moving and relocation industry
    2. To facilitate learning, collaboration and improved ESG practices in the management of global mobility
    3. To provide the mobility community with the tools to help improve transparency on environmental sustainability
    4. To facilitate meaningful measurements to track and report on environmental sustainability progress

Employee Champions

To further help us put our goals into action, we have also developed six dedicated employee champion groups that are focused on the areas of employee engagement, recognition and career development, as well as environment/charity and community, well-being and DE&I.

The groups operate under an agreed charter and meet regularly to brainstorm ideas and report on progress. 

Q. As you’ve noted, there are many ESG priority areas that businesses can focus on to achieve meaningful change. Where do you feel the global mobility industry can have the greatest impact?  What do you see as the biggest obstacles to overcome?

A. Our opportunities and obstacles are very closely linked. One of the biggest challenges in the relocation and moving industries has been the absence of a consistent framework, uniform targets and agreed upon measurement metrics. It’s very welcome news that the industry is taking steps to rectify this, but more work still needs to be done.

The more we succeed in these collective efforts, the greater impact we can have. By working together across the entire supply chain to invest in the necessary research and reporting, we’ll achieve a much clearer understanding of the true ESG impact of relocation policy decisions and actions. The better informed we are, the more we can work together to prioritize those steps that lessen our environmental impact and promote greater security as well as diversity, equity and inclusion. Even efforts that seem relatively small on the surface add up. For example, the virtual moving surveys that really took off during the heart of pandemic lock downs are here to stay, reducing the need to travel to each assignee’s residence to conduct them in person. The same technology can help cut down on travel for home search or area orientation visits too, by giving assignees and families a robust virtual overview.  

Once informed with data, we can take a hard look at decisions that will truly move the needle, and give relocating employees more information to understand how their moving choices matter, too. Shortened stays in temporary accommodations, greater access to fully furnished rentals, fewer trips home by air travel, or the use of discard and donate programs to lighten the weight of shipments and reduce packing materials are just a few examples that can all add up to meaningful change. We’re currently piloting a program to encourage the re-use of packing material and will report on our progress and its impact. As my colleague Stuart Jackson pointed out in a recent FIDI article, it’s critical for us as an industry to do the hard work together, so we are consistently and transparently reporting on the true impact of various mobility policy decisions. We don’t want to run the risk of unintended consequences by acting too quickly, or purely on supposition.

Q. Do you have any other words of wisdom you’d like to share with us?

A. You’ve probably sensed a theme I would like to emphasize: the holistic approach to ESG applies to the collective, “big picture” perspective our industry needs to take as well. Global talent mobility plays an important part in helping companies achieve their DE&I goals, particularly now as hybrid and remote work opportunities have significantly widened the possible talent pool. Mobility professionals are well versed in compliance and risk mitigation on many levels. Working in partnership with a robust supply chain and having advanced command of the regulations, practices and cultures that shape the movement of people and goods around the world, global mobility professionals are well positioned to bring significant value to their organization’s ESG efforts in multiple ways. 

With such a wide-reaching and high-stakes initiative, it can be easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. I think it’s important to keep in mind that ESG progress happens incrementally and takes time. None of us are experts in this rapidly evolving and highly complex subject, but we’re all in it together. Through collaboration and staying focused on and committed to those areas in which we can have the greatest impact, we can continue to learn from one another and design relocation policies that promote more sustainable and equitable business practices.

Want to learn more about any of these initiatives, or how Sterling Lexicon can help you improve your own ESG efforts?  Contact us


Kristin White

Kristin White

Kristin brings nearly 30 years of experience in global workforce mobility, PR, marketing, editorial planning and communications to her role as a member of the thought leadership and content development teams. Before joining the company in 2020, she worked for many years at Worldwide ERC® in collaboration with cross-departmental teams and industry stakeholders to develop in-person and virtual event programming, digital and print content, and served as editor of Mobility magazine. Contact Kristin at

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