Are you a frequent traveller for work? can you make a positive difference for the planet and the people while you travel? Do you want to know how being sustainable can improve your business travel experience? If you said yes to any of these questions, then you are in the right place.
In this blog post, I will explain why sustainability is important for business travel and how you can achieve it. Sustainability means meeting our current needs without compromising the future generations’ ability to meet theirs. Sustainability in business travel means travelling in a way that reduces the negative environmental and social impacts and increases the positive benefits for the traveller, the destination, and the society.
Business travel is an essential part of many companies’ operations and strategies. It allows employees to meet clients, partners, suppliers, and colleagues face-to-face, build relationships, and close deals. However, business travel also has a significant environmental impact, as it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, resource consumption, and waste generation. According to a report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), business travel accounted for about 23% of the total global travel and tourism emissions in 2019. Therefore, sustainability is important in business travel, as it can help companies reduce their environmental footprint, enhance their reputation, and create value for their stakeholders.
What is Sustainability in Business Travel?
Sustainability in business travel is the practice of traveling in a less environmentally harmful manner. While still achieving the business objectives and benefits of travel. Sustainability in business travel can involve various aspects, such as:
- Choosing sustainable modes of transportation. Such as trains, buses, electric vehicles, or hybrid vehicles.
- Selecting eco-friendly accommodation options. Such as hotels that have green certifications or policies.
- Reducing energy and water consumption during the trip. By turning off lights and appliances when not in use or reusing towels and linens.
- Minimising waste generation and disposal during the trip. By avoiding single-use plastics or recycling materials.
- Offsetting carbon emissions from the trip. By purchasing carbon credits or supporting renewable energy projects.
- Alternating or replacing physical travel with virtual meetings. By using video conferencing or online collaboration tools.
How to Implement Sustainability in Business Travel?
Here are some of the common steps:
Assess the current state of the travel program:
The first step is to assess the current state of the travel program. By measuring the carbon footprint, identifying the main sources of emissions, evaluating the existing policies and practices. Benchmarking against industry standards or competitors.
Set goals and targets for improvement:
The next step is to set goals and targets for improvement. By defining the vision, mission, and values of the travel program. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), and determining the timeline and budget for implementation.
Develop and execute action plans:
The third step is to develop and execute action plans. By selecting and implementing appropriate strategies and actions, engaging and educating the travellers and stakeholders. Monitoring and evaluating the progress and outcomes, and reporting and communicating the results.
Review and revise:
The final step is to review and revise. By collecting feedback from travellers and stakeholders, analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the travel program. Identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement. Updating the goals and action plans accordingly.
What are Some Benefits of Sustainability in Business Travel?
Here are some of them:
Companies saving costs by reducing fuel consumption. Optimising travel expenses, avoiding fines or penalties for non-compliance with environmental regulations. Increasing operational efficiency.
Companies gain a competitive advantage by enhancing their brand image. Including their reputation, and loyalty among customers, partners, suppliers, employees, investors, regulators, media, and society.
Companies increase customer satisfaction by meeting or exceeding their expectations. Preferences, and needs regarding environmental responsibility, social impact, and ethical conduct.
Companies improve employee engagement by fostering a culture of sustainability, motivating and rewarding employees for their green behaviour. Providing opportunities for learning and development, and improving employee well-being and productivity.
Companies foster innovation by stimulating creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving among employees. Encouraging experimentation and risk-taking with new ideas or solutions, and leveraging new technologies or trends.
Sustainability is important in business travel because it can help companies reduce their environmental impact. While still achieving their business goals. By following a systematic process of assessing, setting goals, developing action plans, and reviewing results. Companies can implement sustainability in their travel programs effectively. Moreover, by adopting sustainability practices, companies can enjoy various benefits, such as cost savings, competitive advantage, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and innovation.
I hope you liked reading my blog post. If you have any feedback or questions, please let me know. I’m always happy to chat with you. 😊