While the obvious answer for sustainability is travelling less, the reality is that many companies depend on travel. That’s why we believe the trick is to make it count. By making each trip, each journey purposeful and impactful, you’re taking change into your own hands.
This means that each time your team members board a flight, the trip should have a clear purpose. Whether it is combining several trips into one, arranging meetings and events in the same or nearby cities, there is plenty each traveller can do to make it count. You can choose rail over flights where possible, look to offset carbon emissions, stay in eco-friendly accommodations, use car share services, and more.
If you’re looking into ways that your business can make travel more sustainable, we’re happy to help. Your travel manager can give you ideas of where to optimise your travel and how to track your mileage using our technology. They can show you how to use tools and tech for things like:
Carbon reporting to provide full visibility on your travel emissions
Carbon analysis to look at how to reduce your impact, with support to integrate this into your travel policy
Carbon offsetting to offset the environmental impact of your travel
Small Steps for Greater Impact
Talking about sustainability means also talking about measuring impact on travellers and bottom lines. Every action has a reaction. In conversations about sustainability, our Customer Success Managers can showcase how some sustainability goals impact traveller wellness and how the cost relates to your company.
For example, reducing the number of connections on a flight are big wins to being sustainable in travel, and the travellers always appreciate that, but they come with a higher cost to your business. Or you might decide to choose a red-eye flight to save time on the overall trip and cost of the flight, but the time may not be ideal for your team member’s wellbeing. We have a matrix that you can use to see how sustainability might impact your people.
Talk to our team today!
How airlines are helping
Though airline travel is far from sustainable, some airlines are committed to changing the narrative. For example, KLM is working to lead the industry in increasing the demand for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). CO2 emissions are reduced by up to 75% when SAFs replace kerosene, but many airlines don’t use SAFs because of cost, and limited availability. If the demand increased, production would increase, and SAFs would be more accessible to airlines to make the switch. As of 2022, for all KLM flights departing Amsterdam, the airline will blend a small amount of SAFs. Though it is not the perfect solution yet, it is still a remarkable change.
United Airlines has joined the First Movers Coalition along with more than 30 companies who are committed to using 250 million gallons of sustainable fuels by 2030. That’s around 5% of their fuel consumption. United also has a wider, more ambitious goal of reaching net-zero by 2050, which is achievable as more airlines make commitments to sustainability.
Small steps lead to greater leaps
As the world reopens and businesses revamp their travel programs, for many, priorities are shifting. Consolidating the needs of their employees with the needs of the planet, while maintaining a healthy bottom line is a delicate balance, but it’s not impossible. Small impacts are greater than no impact and taking an interest in doing better already puts you ahead. Talk to your teams about what sustainability means to them and what changes in your program would be meaningful. Commit to what you can do now and plan to do more in 6 months or a year.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Our Global Sustainability Officer, Michelle Degenhardt, sums up what sustainability means to her:
“Sustainability is ensuring that our actions today have a positive impact on the future state of the planet. We have an obligation to contribute to that positive impact ourselves, but also by helping our customers discover and implement more sustainable ways to travel”.