For Eco-conscious companies, balancing the need to travel with business objectives to lower their carbon footprint can be a tricky balance.
Getting your experts where they need to be is not negotiable. The fact is they need to travel for your business to be successful, but how can you do this as an environmentally conscious business?
Well, the good news is, it is possible to travel green but it takes a bit of hard work and dedication. The great news is that having a Travel Management Company in place can help drive greener travel within your business and take the hard work out of it for you.
More and more companies are paying extra attention to their carbon footprint and the effect their travel is having on the environment. Some businesses will even have certain quotas and targets to measure their environmental impact, – and that’s where a Travel Management Company comes in.
By displaying the amount of CO2 per trip within the online booking tool travellers are encouraged to make greener choices. A proactive TMC (such as us,) will then report on the CO2 footprint per trip. Many of our clients find these reports to be invaluable for producing Corporate Social Responsibility statements and for managing their business KPIs.
Building incentive schemes into travel policies is becoming an increasingly common way of helping companies meet KPIs and increase the adoption of greener travel throughout the business.
Offering rewards to employees who opt for environmentally friendly options such as lift or taxi sharing when travelling is a proven way to drive adoption of key objectives. Online Booking Tools can be used to help promote greener travel too. By highlighting the more fuel-efficient cars or hybrid electrical vehicles, travellers are likely to be drawn to these options through visual guilt.
Many air and rail companies are now offering eTickets which can be used via QR codes on your traveller’s mobile.
Not only does this eliminate your company’s need for paper and lower your carbon footprint, but it means your traveller’s are far less likely to lose their ticket.
Going paperless can also help with every traveller’s biggest annoyance: expenses. Most TMCs have an expense solution in place which means that travellers can send invoices from their phones straight to your finance department.
Opting for nonstop rather than connecting flights can massively reduce your carbon footprint as most of the fuel consumption occurs during landing and take-off.
Direct flights can be more expensive, but in return you’ll be saving your traveller’s time. Limiting the impact of longer hours and jetlag will help your experts perform better while working away and show consideration for their wellbeing.
PLANT A TREE!
Carbon offsetting is a great way to make up for the carbon dioxide released during your business travel. Trees consume Co2 and release oxygen back into the atmosphere, meaning that by planting a tree your business can positively impact the environment.
If you don’t have space around your offices to plant trees, there are many local and international schemes you can get involved with to do the planting for you.
Why not plan a tree for X amount of air miles your company accrues? Or when X amount of employees reach an environmental KPI within your travel policy? This information can be given to you through Management Information (MI) via your account manager. You can find out more about reports offered through an account managed service here.
REUSING THE SAME TOWELS AND SHEETS
Most hotels give guests the option of reusing their towels and bedding rather than changing them daily. By reusing them, you can help reduce the amount of laundry the hotel has to do, therefore saving water and energy.
One of the great things about travelling, whether for business, leisure or bleisure, is experiencing local foods and cultures.
While it can be tempting to buy from a familiar chain, encourage your travellers to consider the fuel it takes for a recognisable brand to pack and ship it’s products to global locations.
Opting for food from a local, independent restaurant is likely to be fresher and healthier, as well as better for the environment.
The lighter your travellers pack, the less fuel the plane will consume while transporting luggage. – Your business also save more money by avoiding larger baggage fees.
Travellers should also be encouraged to take reusable toiletry bags and water bottles (which can be refilled and taken onboard when flying) to limit plastic waste. Consider investing in branded in-flight reusable merchandise to ensure your traveller’s comfort and cut down on waste.
Sustainability is high on the global agenda. Following COP26 we look at how travelling by train instead of flying between European countries can make a sizeable impact on the carbon impact of your business travel.
The Business Travel Association recently commissioned independent consultants, Nina & Pinter, to look at the different relationship models which exist between corporates and TMCs. The result is an insightful paper, the purpose of which is to help support the industry in getting the best from their Travel Management Company RFP process.
We recently caught up with one of our Travel Consultants, Laura Fairburn, to find out what it has been like returning to a completely different landscape that she left 18 months ago and to find out if service times have been affected by the pandemic.