Nearshore Outsourcing Clients Can Gain New Insight into a Destination's Sustainability

Last week the Tecnologico de Monterrey hosted the debut of the latest Latin America version of the Global Adaptation Index. Mexico government officials and businesspeople attended, while counterparts from nearshore countries like Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Panama, and El Salvador tuned in via telecast. The event wasn't about outsourcing per se, but the information disclosed and discussed is important to people buying nearshore outsourcing services.

The Global Adaptation Index, or GaIN as its friends call it, evaluates two major factors about a country: its "vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges" and its "readiness to improve resilience." The goal is to help government and business "prioritize investments for a more efficient response to the immediate global challenges ahead."

Those challenges include food capacity and malnutrition, access to clean water, disease mortality, energy sensitivity, and road flooding. These are not the kinds of things CIOs might think about when considering an outsourcing location, but obviously they are critical factors that affect things a CIO would think about, like qualified IT or BPO workforce, the health of those workers (to paraphrase Bob Marley, a hungry worker is an angry worker), political stability, and physical infrastructure.

One nearshore nation rated least vulnerable and most ready to deal with such challenges is Mexico. "Adaptation challenges may still exist, but Mexico requires little help in facing them," the researchers said, concluding that Mexico is the planet's 69th least vulnerable country and the 25th most ready country. Its overall GaIN rank is 60. Or, in other words, Mexico is in the quadrant of countries that is "ready and open for investments."

Ranked least vulnerable and most ready in the region is Chile, which tends to do well in these types of evaluations, followed closely by (and this might surprise you) Uruguay at Number 22. Just two paces behind Mexico is Costa Rica (62) and then Brazil (64).

Latin American countries not doing so well, at least according to the GaIN researchers, are Guatemala (100) and Guyana (115).

(As a point of reference: The Danes grabbed the number 1 spot, and Afghanistan dead last.)

The point here is that this index provides another source of data that any country manager, CIO, CFO, whomever, involved in making decisions about a delivery location can consider. The folks at the Global Adaptation Institute, which compiles the index, emphasize that it's "a response to the various challenges of sustainable development including population growth, economic expansion and the effects of climate change. It was developed as a navigation tool to help prioritize and measure progress in adapting to these challenges."

Sustainable development is something outsourcing clients are calling a priority more and more these days. And it's not just about what some people dismiss as tree-hugging. Sustainability has been shown to improve the bottom line, and it's also a good way to attract customers. As David Kinnear of the Global Sourcing Council said in an interview with Nearshore Americas:

“There’s now hard data showing the link between sustainability and customer loyalty. My view is that more companies will be green because they want to be smart than be green because they want to be green."