Greening your business travel program

The COVID-19 pandemic has refocussed the spotlight on sustainable business practices. Choosing a carbon-neutral partner is expected to become an essential consideration in supply chains to help companies reach their sustainability goals in the coming decades.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), aviation contributes about 2-3% of the world’s global human-induced carbon emissions. When it comes to travel, there are certain areas you can focus on to reduce the environmental footprint of your business travel program.

1. Create a strategy to reduce your carbon footprint

The first step is to establish a baseline for your program’s environmental footprint that will help you to identify opportunities for improvement. Then set your sustainability targets and activate a plan to work towards achieving your goals.

We can provide you with emissions data for your air, rail, and car, as well as ongoing reporting to track your progress. This will ensure that you can accurately report on emissions and include figures in your annual financial reporting.

2. Support sustainable suppliers

When sourcing suppliers, investigate their sustainability practices and determine the most carbon-efficient air travel routes, aircraft types, car rental and hotel property options. When evaluating air carriers, consider using newer generation long-haul wide-body jets, such as the A380, A350XWB and Boeing 787 and 747-8, which are proven to achieve lower CO2 emissions. Partner with hotels that have environmental certification. Typically, properties with these credentials feature flow-restrictive showerheads, low-flow toilets, and energy-efficient lighting and cleaning programs. We can help you identify the most sustainable suppliers in your program and promote those suppliers to your travellers.

3. Educate your travellers.

Educate your travellers with proven communications strategies. For example, help your travellers decide when and how to travel with stay or go infographics or provide statistics and guidelines designed to help them choose the best options.

In addition, you can integrate targeted messaging at point-of-sale to influence purchasing decisions that support your sustainability targets. If you use an Online Booking Tool, most platforms allow travellers to view and compare the carbon emissions of their flight and ground transportation options before making their reservations. You can also configure the OBT to promote sustainable suppliers to help you reach your overall goals.

Similarly, in the consultant environment, we ensure that our technology prompts the consultant with scripted tasks such as ‘book preferred air’ and provides the agent with biased results based on your preferred airline suppliers.

Be part of the solution. Incorporating sustainability elements into your business travel program will improve employee and public affinity to your organization and future-proof your travel program.