Sustainable Business Travel Guide
For many organisations (and of course our own clients) some level of business travel is unavoidable. Despite the continued growth and improvement of virtual conferencing services these are no simply replacement for doing business in person. The human touch matters. Meeting people face-to-face builds trust and relationships in a way that's practically impossible to replicate using technology.
The good news is that business travel can be made environmentally-friendly, especially if you consider and incorporate sustainability issues in your business travel policy from the get-go. A key part of our role as a reputable travel management company, as well as helping clients control costs and stay safe when they travel, is to advise our clients on best practice when it comes to business travel policy, and corporate social responsibility is a vital element of this.
We know that many of our clients are concerned with reducing their environmental impact, and we're here to help them make informed choices regarding how they travel. We can help them track the basics of course, like their carbon footprint and CO2 emissions.
According to a recent international survey by The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), over 90% of companies surveyed track their air travel activity, while 40% reported that those who had taken sustainable travel practice seriously had witnessed tangible benefits, such as a more positive public perception and improved staff morale.
One easy win, especially for those travelling in the UK and parts of Europe, is to opt for rail travel over air. The reliability of Eurostar's services to Paris (coupled with more competitive pricing recently) has made flight routes between London and the nearest reaches of Europe virtually redundant. Eurostar are now offering direct services to Amsterdam, which will launch by the end of 2017, making these journeys even easier. You can easily book UK and continental rail on our booking system VIBE, so why not make the most of this option?
Group Reservations Manager Tony Howes says, 'many of our clients, particularly universities and others in the public sector, have seen an increase in continental rail travel over air travel. It is much easier nowadays because the various national rail companies work together and there’s a lot more deregulation.'
Flights still accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, but there are easy things you can do to mitigate against its impact. When you do have to fly, consider travelling in economy class and direct, and thus avoiding wasteful stopovers when possible.
Use public transport as much as possible in your destination, instead of hiring a car. This should also be less stressful and leave you in a hopefully more productive state to conduct your business meeting. Most major western cities now have reliable and affordable bike hire schemes, so encourage your staff to make use of these too.
As this article points out, sustainability also has a bearing on how you measure your business travel ROI, as if you factor in your CO2 saving this will give you a higher value spend per pound.
CTM's Environmental Policy
Of course like any responsible organisation, we also try to practive what we preach, so for those interested, here's our own environmental policy.
We are committed to providing a quality service in a manner that ensures a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and minimises our potential impact on the environment. We will operate in compliance with all relevant environmental legislation and we will strive to use pollution prevention and environmental best practices in all we do.
- Integrate the consideration of environmental concerns and impacts into all of our decision making and activities
- Promote environmental awareness among our employees and encourage them to work in an environmentally responsible manner
- Train, educate and inform our employees about environmental issues that may affect their work
- Reduce waste through re-use and recycling and by purchasing recycled, recyclable or re-furbished products and materials where these alternatives are available, economical and suitable
- Promote efficient use of materials and resources throughout our facility including water, electricity, raw materials and other resources, particularly those that are non-renewable
- Avoid unnecessary use of hazardous materials and products, seek substitutions when feasible, and take all reasonable steps to protect human health and the environment when such materials must be used, stored and disposed of
- Purchase and use environmentally responsible products accordingly
- Where required by legislation or where significant health, safety or environmental hazards exist, develop and maintain appropriate emergency and spill response programmes
- Communicate our environmental commitment to clients, customers and the public and encourage them to support it
- Strive to continually improve our environmental performance and minimise the social impact and damage of activities by periodically reviewing our environmental policy in light of our current and planned future activities.
Learn more about how we can help with your company's sustainable travel and see our full range of travel services.