Prior to the global spread of the novel coronavirus, the World Economic Forum published its annual Global Risk Report, in which environmental risks ranked high for the first time. Extreme weather, natural disasters and failure to protect our environment were ranking among chief concerns; outranking infectious diseases, food and water crises, and weapons of mass destruction. BCD Travel Research & Innovation’s Mike Eggleton explains what this could mean for business travel. Check out his Q&A.
1. Why are environmental risks suddenly ranking higher than others?
Environmental issues are currently on everybody’s mind. That’s partly due to awareness created by climate activists like Greta Thunberg, but also because of weather extremes like floods and droughts all over the world.
It’s a severe long-term risk and we are starting to realize that it will affect all of us.
2. To what extent will environmental risks affect business travel?
First of all, travel’s environmental impact is why we need to reduce our carbon footprint. This means that we should carefully weigh up the pros and cons before each business trip. Sometimes a virtual meeting can be just as effective as a face-to-face meeting. Advito’s Sustainable Collaboration team managed to drastically cut a client’s carbon emissions in five months.
Whenever we go on a business trip, we should consider CO2 compensation BCD’s Carbon Footprint Calculator for Air Travel automatically shows a flight’s CO2 emission on all BCD itineraries.
We’ve all either had a business trip disrupted by weather extremes or we know someone who has. With our total trip management platform and app TripSource®, travelers stay informed and engaged with risk alerts, flight alerts, emergency response notifications, policy information and trip reminders.
3. In view of the rapid spread of the coronavirus, how do you evaluate the report today?
If the same survey were to be conducted again today, the novel coronavirus would probably top the list of risks. After all, it represents an immediate threat to the health of travelers. Nevertheless, the report is interesting in all respects, because for the first time ever it has put environmental risks in first place. We will continue to monitor the situation.