Plane to Train

carbon-conscious European travel

Environmental sustainability remains high on the global agenda. The recent COP26 event in Glasgow brought together 120 world leaders, representing 197 states, to discuss what can be done to tackle climate change. While individually we may be unable to effect as much change as those in attendance, we all know that there are ways we can monitor and improve our own carbon footprints that collectively could help make a difference.

Organisations are increasingly focussing on their efforts in striving for carbon neutrality – or even negativity in some cases. Business Travel is a necessity of many modern businesses, and there are ways that you can make more environmentally friendly choices to support both your business objectives and the planet.

WTTC Report

Plane to train

One such choice may be to switch from flights to rail where possible. While this may be relatively straightforward when considering domestic travel, internationally it can be trickier.

However, as a continent largely connected by land (and with the channel tunnel connecting the UK), travelling by train between European countries is one way to potentially make a sizeable impact to the carbon impact of business travel.

The numbers

In 2019, Defra and BEIS published research documenting average emissions per kilometre travelled for different transport types.

At 254 grams per kilometre, domestic and short haul flights came out on top of the list when considering the combination of CO2 and the secondary effects of emissions from high altitude, non-CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, domestic rail accounts for 41 grams per kilometre, and the Eurostar just 6 grams.

Of course, there’s additional calculations to be made in terms of the actual kilometres travelled and supplementary transport types required to reach your final destination, but swapping short-haul flights to rail is certainly a good place to start if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint.

Making the right choice

Thankfully, European rail is available to book within YourTrip, allowing you to make direct cost comparisons against the equivalent flight options. You can find out much more including a whole host of additional benefits that choosing European rail travel can provide on our dedicated YourTrip European Rail page.

European Rail in



What else can we do?

In addition to switching from train to plane, there are a number of other ways to support carbon-conscious business travel. We’ve collected some of these into our sustainability in travel article.

We also offer clients our Legacy programme, providing access to projects in carbon offsetting, forestry and peatland restoration.


Gray Dawes, in partnership with Forest Carbon, offer an awesome carbon offset programme designed specifically for business travellers.

Legacy ensures your business travel can be managed with a tangible focus on sustainability. That’s great for you, your organisation, the business travel industry and, of course, the planet!

To help you navigate the changes of business travel, we’ve created the brand-new Traveller Toolkit. This invaluable online resource is packed full of easy-to-use guides and checklists for every stage of every journey. We detail exactly what you need to know and do before, during and after your trip in a post-pandemic, post Brexit world.

You can even check the travel restrictions and health status of your destination with our comprehensive COVID-19 Country Tracker, updated five times daily to ensure you have the very latest information to help keep you and your travellers safe.

Travel is changing. With common sense and a good TMC behind you, travellers can have the confidence to once again take to the skies. It’ll soon be back business as (un)usual.



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