Healing the planet
The vision of the UN Global Compact is for companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on the environment, human rights, labor and anti-corruption. As a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2008 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since 2017, we have chosen 10 of the 17 goals where we can make the most impact to our business. We focus on SDG 13 Climate Action to help frame our environmental initiatives.
“The significant rise in natural disasters and global summits like COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, have brought the attention of the world’s media to the devastating impact of climate change. Large corporations have a responsibility to help protect our planet – and no one can deny the key role that the travel industry has to play in this,” said Sharon Dirks, Senior Director, Sustainability at BCD Travel. “That’s why BCD has made huge progress with our global environmental management system over the last five years. It is our responsibility to act yes, but more than that – we want to continue to drive progress working with partners, clients and suppliers to move corporate travel forward in the bid to protect #OnlyOneEarth.”
Environmental best practices at BCD
Our ISO 14001 environmental certifications in 30 countries validate that we apply environmental best practices to our operations and comply with industry regulations and legal requirements. Our global environment management system allows us to track our progress in environmental activities, as well as accurately measure our carbon footprint. Undertaking annual external audits helps hold us accountable to the latest environmental standards and legislation. A third-party auditor validates our global carbon emissions annually. For 10 years, we’ve also voluntarily submitted an annual response to the CDP, a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts.
BCD Travel is the first travel management company (TMC) to join the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a campaign to increase corporate participation on climate action in line with the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change. Science-based targets provide a clear plan of action to reduce greenhouse gases. An emissions reduction target is science based if it’s in line with the scale of reductions required to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6° F) from pre-industrial levels.
In May 2021, BCD also made history as the first TMC partner to sign a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) agreement with Delta. SAF is made from sustainably sourced, renewable waste and residue materials. It offers an immediate way to directly reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from aviation. By working with Delta to increase SAF use, we can positively impact our own carbon footprint.
Technology to drive corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability
We capture crucial data elements across every step of our clients’ travel activity to power our analytics, reporting, post-booking service capabilities and dashboards. We help our clients with actionable insights across their program, delivering carbon reporting for air, hotel and rail via our reporting platform DecisionSource®. We also provide carbon offsetting solutions from our certified SolutionSource® third-party technology partners.
Within our booking platforms, we develop features like tailored messaging, clear labels and filtering options that help travelers and our agents make informed decisions around sustainable travel. Across all phases of a trip, we send messages to the traveler through our award-winning app, TripSource®, to provide timely and relevant information that helps them stay in the know, organized and in program.
Our clients can also benefit from Advito’s leading sustainability practice. They continue to push the boundaries on what it means to implement a sustainable travel program, from ISO certified carbon reporting to best in class sustainability traveler engagement campaigns.
External validation through EcoVadis
Our outstanding environmental performance contributes to our EcoVadis Platinum rating validates our outstanding environmental performance, confirming our position in the top 1% of all companies assessed. Currently 90,000+ companies are assessed by EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. We’ve improved our rating for the environment theme each year since we first achieved Gold in 2016. We make environmentally conscious decisions as a sustainable member of our clients’ supply chains because we know it’s going to take all of us to protect and sustain our world.
Driving education and awareness in the industry and our workforce
Working closely with our employees, industry peers, clients and suppliers is essential to drive education and awareness across our industry. Kathy Jackson, BCD’s Vice President, Executive Chair Sustainability, continued with her position as Vice Chair of the GBTA Sustainability Committee for the second year in 2021. Most recently, Jackson joined the GBTA Sustainability Leadership Council. Advito Sustainability Practice Lead Julien Etchanchu began serving with the Committee last year. The Council promotes collaboration and benchmarking within and across business travel verticals; bridges sustainability efforts on the supplier and buyer sides; and helps identify emerging sustainability trends and initiatives on a global scale.
We also offer education opportunities for our global workforce and invite them to share with their peers how they contribute to protecting the planet at work and in their private lives. We regularly share content on our blog and intranet covering topics like building sustainability into the travel policy, environment tips for the home office, the best environment apps to use, and more.