Building a global workforce to help save the planet

Building a global workforce to help save the planet

Earthly is on a mission to fix the climate and biodiversity crises facing our planet. This environmentally driven company advises businesses on how to be more sustainable, invest in nature, reduce their climate impact and mitigate their carbon emissions. Oliver Bolton, CEO and Co-founder of Earthly, explains why the company chose Remote’s employer of record (EOR) platform to help build a global workforce that could tackle this mission.

Founded in 2020, Earthly aims to help companies become more sustainable and have a positive net effect on the climate. It offers a variety of products and solutions to help companies not just offset their emissions, but remove additional carbon from the atmosphere, including partnering with nature-based projects around the world such as tree planting initiatives, reforestation efforts and peatland protection. These projects are chosen for their ability to remove carbon, support essential ecosystems and provide social benefits to local communities.

The seed of the company was planted in 2018 when Oliver Bolton, CEO and Co-founder of Earthly, read a staggering report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). At the time, he was working as a producer for food and drink brands, but he was shocked by the IPCC’s warnings about what impact a 1.5°C increase in global temperatures would have on the planet, and he decided he needed to act.

Bolton said: “The catalyst for me was imagining future conversations with my son as a teenager and him challenging me and saying, ‘Your generation knew about the situation we’re in. Why didn’t you do more?’”

Bolton, along with Co-founder, Lorenzo Curci, launched Earthly to try and do more about the issue. Earthly aims to advise businesses everywhere on ways to invest in nature, decouple from their climate footprint and have a net positive impact on the planet.

Since it was founded, Earthly has grown to 27 employees and has worked with companies of all sizes, from small businesses to major corporations including the likes of French cosmetics brand, Garnier, and one of the UK’s leading mortgage brokers, Charles Cameron & Associates. Earthly works with these businesses on how to maximise the value and impact of their climate efforts and balance their responsibility to the planet with growth and productivity.
But Earthly has sky-high ambitions: its goal is to remove a gigaton of carbon emissions by 2030, to help avoid a climate breakdown.

Growing an international team, without the hassle

As Earthly’s client list has grown, the company has needed a larger team to handle all this extra workload. Bolton wanted to maintain the company as a fully remote operation and hire people all over the world. However, international hires would require Earthly to open separate entities in other countries, which Bolton knew could be a tremendously difficult challenge.

“We had previously set up our own entity in Bulgaria. It was really time-consuming and quite stressful,” admited Bolton.

To recruit global talent who shared Earthly’s climate ambitions and avoid this stress, the company needed a partner that could handle the thorny legal and HR problems that accompany the global expansion. This would free Earthly to focus on its core business functions of advising companies, as well as its bigger objective: helping to save the planet.

Thanks to a chance conversation with a friend, Bolton learned about Remote, a world leader in providing global HR solutions. Because Remote owns legal entities in every country around the planet – without using third party providers or partnerships – Earthly would be able to recruit talented workers anywhere without getting involved in the logistics or costs of setting up its own entities.

Overcoming the hurdles of international hiring

But legal logistics were not the only challenge Earthly needed to overcome during its global expansion journey. Preserving company culture, ensuring legal compliance and finding the right talent can all prove to be pain points for remote-first companies looking to build an internationally distributed workforce.

Thankfully, Remote was able to help Earthly overcome many of these obstacles. Remote’s intuitive EOR platform ensures that Earthly can scale quickly without worrying about compliance, benefits, payroll or other country-specific logistics.

For instance, Remote’s automatic contract generation and in-house hiring experts helped Earthly eliminate issues arising from language barriers. Having these experts in countries around the world helped to give Earthly peace of mind when searching for environmentally focused global talent.

Similarly, Remote’s other solutions, including Country Explorer (which allows the client to learn more about countries with prospective hires) and Employee Cost Calculator (which estimate the employment costs for new hires, including benefits), helped Earthly to research potential hiring locations.

According to Bolton: “We like being able to look at the potential nuances of working with an employee in a certain country before we find them, so the deep dive into countries was really useful as well.”

Building this global workforce is essential to Earthly’s efforts of enacting global change. But as a start-up, the company’s resources are not limitless. Thankfully, the partnership with Remote has empowered Earthly to improve its recruitment and onboarding processes.

“It’s helped streamline the whole process for both us and also for our team members,” adds Bolton. “Onboarding has been really efficient for new hires. It has taken the stress out and it’s made life easier for everyone.”

Maintaining company culture across borders

Perhaps the biggest result of the partnership with Remote is that Earthly has successfully been able to build and solidify its company culture, even while adding team members from other countries. Remote’s in-house country experts have helped to ensure that the business offers fair and competitive compensation to new recruits.

“The way that the process has been handled and the fact that we can offer incentives that match what our employees have in the UK – that has made everyone feel like they’re part of one company,” explained Bolton.

Thanks to Remote, Earthly was able to implement one of its most progressive workplace initiatives: the four-day working week.

“Remote has allowed us to take the four-day work week and introduce that into the contracts so that everyone feels like they’re on the same structure, which I think is really important: to feel part of one organisation, rather than links to different country-based companies,” said Bolton.

Looking to the future

So what’s next for Earthly’s international hiring plans? The company aims to double the size of its team and intends to establish hubs in the US and Asia to manage its client base in those regions.

Earthly currently has international job openings for candidates who wish to make a positive impact towards the climate and biodiversity crises. Once it finds the right recruits, Remote’s EOR services will play a key role in ensuring that they feel like part of one global business.

Bolton concludes by revealing that the company has reached an important milestone: “We are close to 400 businesses that we’re working with, so we’re continuing to expand our team and to scale and also focus on larger, enterprise clients.”

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