Did you know that the aviation industry is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions?
Planes burn fossil fuels, like oil and gasoline, to power their engines. When fossil fuels are burned, they release carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air.
These pollutants trap heat from the sun inside the atmosphere, causing the Earth's temperature to rise. That's why it's important to take steps to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel by train or plane.
The first step to offsetting your emissions is to be aware of your contribution to climate change and other forms of environmental degradation. Our goal should always be to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.
Here are some tips for sustainable travel that will help you reduce your airline carbon footprint:
1. Consider Alternative Travel Options
With the debate over climate change heating up, many people are rethinking their travel plans. Luckily, there are a few alternative travel options that still allow you and your employees to get where you need to go while reducing your company’s overall carbon footprint.
Trains are a great way to travel short to medium distances. They emit far fewer emissions than planes and cars and offer a more relaxed travel experience. You can also often find deals on train tickets, especially if you book in advance.
Buses are another low-emission option for travelling around your country or city. They often have fewer stops than trains, making them faster and more convenient.
Many bus companies are now investing in hybrid or electric buses, making them an even more eco-friendly travel option.
Carsharing is perfect for companies that have several employees travelling to the same destination. Instead of everyone renting their own car, you can arrange for a single car for the group to rent and share. It's also a great opportunity to bond with your colleagues while you're on the road!
- Consider taking on trains, buses, and carsharing for a more environmentally friendly way of travelling
- Research deals and plan your trip in advance for the best savings
- Plan to travel with others as a way to reduce emissions and connect with colleagues
2. Fly Direct
If you're looking to reduce a significant amount of emissions, consider flying direct to your destination. Sure, it might cost a little bit more, but the environmental benefits are well worth it.
When you take a flight with multiple stops, the plane has to keep taking off and landing, using up a lot of fuel in the process.
But when you fly directly, the plane only has to take off and land once, making it much more efficient. And that's not even mentioning all of the time you'll save by not having to make any connections!
So next time you're booking a flight, think about the environment and choose to fly direct whenever possible.
- Fly direct to cut out pesky layovers that consume more fuel
- Save you time and money in the long run
- Save yourself more energy and hassle by flying direct
3. Pack Light
When travelling a long distance, it can be tempting to overpack, thinking you need to bring everything but the kitchen sink with you on the trip.
But the truth is, you don't need that many clothes or shoes. The less weight an aeroplane has to carry, the less fuel it burns and the lower its carbon emissions.
Of course, this isn't always easy, especially if you're travelling for more than a weekend. But even packing just a few items in a carry-on bag can make a big difference.
- Save money on baggage fees by packing light
- Travel with just a carry-on bag for more convenience
- Packing light will help reduce the weight of the aeroplane, saving fuel and reducing emissions
4. Fly With a Low-Cost Airline
Low-cost airlines are generally more fuel-efficient than their traditional counterparts, which means they produce fewer emissions.
Because low-cost airlines typically have younger fleets of aircraft, they also tend to be equipped with the latest fuel-saving technology, making them an even more efficient way to fly.
- Low-cost airlines have lower passenger loads, which helps them save fuel.
- You can avoid the costly environmental fees that some major airlines charge.
- Low-cost airlines typically have shorter routes which means you can arrive at your destination faster.
5. Create a Detailed Travel Policy Document
You may not realise it, but your company's travel policy could do a lot to reduce its carbon footprint.
By creating a detailed travel policy document, you can set guidelines for employees who need to travel for work. You can do this by specifying preferred airlines, hotels, and rental car companies that are environmentally friendly.
You can also set limits on the amount of company air travel employees can take each year.
- A well-thought-out travel policy prevents confusion and misinformation about company travel.
- It will save a tremendous amount of time, money, and hassle if everyone is on the same page about what is and isn't acceptable.
- Providing your employees with a comprehensive travel policy can help them become more productive and efficient while on the road.
Sustainable travel is becoming more and more popular, and for a good reason. As a CFO, it’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact while also saving your company money as fuel costs continue to rise.
No doubt there are aspects of sustainable travel that we haven’t covered. In particular, it’s difficult to tackle the issue of food waste and carbon footprints during air travel due to their complexity.
Still, the tips above should hopefully help you make a small difference in our larger environmental picture, especially if more companies follow suit.