Business travel is a tourism sector that caters to people who are traveling for business or professional reasons. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 10.4% to global GDP; a share that decreased to 5.5% in 2020 due to ongoing restrictions to mobility. Well, with the pandemic restrictions gradually being lifted, greater travel, particularly corporate travel, is projected in 2022.
We all know that both national and international, business travel is vital. It does, however, harm our ecosystem. The expense, social impact, and environmental consequences of various kinds of business travel are all factors to consider when planning sustainable travel.
As businesses reconsider and reconstruct their travel programs for a post-pandemic future, it's an ideal time to work with travel managers that adopted new processes and measurable objectives that embrace sustainability, safety, and convenience. Importantly, businesses must take action to achieve sustainable business travel in 2022.
How To Build a Sustainable Business Travel Policy
There's much you can do to make a significant difference, whether you're traveling for business, setting your company's business travel policy, or planning trips for others. A sustainability-focused business travel policy can be a strong instrument for influencing your organization's carbon footprint while simultaneously providing your employees with the assistance they need to safely and effectively carry out their obligations.
Here are some travel suggestions for incorporating sustainability into business trips:
Always Choose Digital Tickets
Your travel documents should not be printed. Encourage your company's traveling workforce to become digital by implementing a no printing travel policy. Airports and hotels all across the world accept e-tickets like:
- Airline reservation
- Itinerary receipt
- Boarding passes
- Booking confirmations
Prioritize Sustainable Destinations for Meetings and Team Building
Always consider holding essential business events, such as off-site meetings or team-building exercises, in environmentally friendly locations. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Destination Criteria, there are now many countries that have carbon-neutral cities or environmental urban development that are ideal for business travel.
It supports organizations that help to preserve the environment and allows your company to have a more authentic travel experience in sustainable destinations.
Approve More Direct Flights
Think “direct” for travels that really must be taken by plane. There's no denying that flights with layovers are more cost-effective, but they come at a significantly higher environmental cost. Because emissions are largely emitted during takeoff and landing, avoiding layovers is a considerably more environmentally friendly option.
Many major airlines have begun to disclose the greenhouse gas emissions of their flights to assist you in making an informed selection.
Greener Travel on the Ground
Promote the usage of electric vehicles to reduce emissions. According to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, electric vehicles can significantly reduce carbon pollution from transportation while also improving air quality.
Include electric cars in your company's travel policy so that your travel workforce can reduce their carbon footprint and have a beneficial impact on the environment both globally and locally.
Take Local Transportation
If your destination doesn’t have electric cars available, encourage your travelers to use public transit such as buses and trains wherever possible. Cleaner fuels or alternative technologies are used to power many cities' bus and train systems.
Choose Green Hotels
Make green hotels a priority in your travel policy. It will contribute to the green movement while also protecting the environment. More hotels are adopting green practices and have been developing sustainability through creative solutions such as:
- Green roof technology
- Automatic shut-off on lights and air-conditioners
- Sourcing local and on-site cuisine
- Water conservation programs
- Much more
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Make a travel program for your staff that encourages them to use less paper and plastic and recycle as much as possible. Extend those programs to travelers while on the road, beyond the four walls of your offices.
Encourage travelers to bring reusable water bottles and toiletry items rather than relying on single-use, disposable things provided by the hotel or airline.
Eat and Support Local
Encourage your travelers to eat less carbon-intensive foods. By purchasing local food, you can help support local communities and businesses. You will not only be supporting locals, but you will also be benefiting because eating local food means:
- Eating less imported products
- Eating less processed foods
- Eating fresher products
Offset Your Carbon Emissions
Make up for your emissions by investing in a carbon reduction project elsewhere. It is used to offset these emissions by contributing to the payment of emission reductions in other regions of the world. Here are some top Carbon Offset Programs you can check out:
- Best Overall: NativeEnergy
- Best Air Travel: Sustainable Travel International
- Best Events: TerraPass
- Best Commute: Clear
- Best Home: MyClimate
- Best Corporate: 3Degrees
Work With Travel Managers With Support
Provide instructions on how to use virtual tools on travel managers who have a network of travel specialists to whom they can turn for help. Employees desire to do what is right. They should be better prepared to replace travel with virtual alternatives. Detail the various communications tools and provide relevant links to access them, as well as any training resources that may be available, in your policy.
Educate Your Employees About Sustainable Travel
Your employees must comprehend why this is something your company supports. The greatest method to achieve your objectives of a more ecologically friendly business travel program is to get your staff on board with what you're attempting to do.
Your business travelers will be more aware of and make greener choices as a result of their education, which will help your company, their travel destination areas, and the environment as a whole.
A sustainable travel policy will benefit your company as well as the environment. With the travel limitations eased, this simple list of advice can tremendously assist your company and support the ecosystem when you resume business travel.
Construct an effective sustainable business travel program, enlist a travel management company such as locomote business travel, a top-ranked and well-established travel company that can provide outstanding service for your business travel needs.