As many people are becoming more environmentally aware and pro-sustainability in today’s modern world, the adverse effects of business travel on the environment continue to remain a big topic. It’s not surprising that business travel has the potential to harm the environment given the increased number of flights and road trips. However, this doesn't have to be the case.
As finance managers, CFOs, and travel managers, incorporating sustainable solutions into your company's travel strategy can lessen your carbon footprint and allows your business to make a significant contribution to protecting the environment. It is necessary to manage the costs, social effects, and environmental effects that business travel methods cause. Here are 10 strategies to save money for your business while protecting the environment.
Set Company Sustainability Targets
Setting the right sustainability target for your company is the first step in achieving sustainable corporate travel. With the nature and core values of your business, make sure your target is achievable and always encourage everyone in the company to achieve those targets.
An example of a sustainability target is to reduce carbon emissions by 30% for this year. Your company should set milestones, evaluate your progress toward your goal at least once every three months, and put an action plan into place to get you closer to your goals.
Measuring Carbon Footprint for All Travel
When it comes to business travel, the carbon footprint is crucial for determining how one's actions affect the environment. Measuring carbon footprint is the computation data of the carbon footprint that your organisation emits each time a representative travels for business.
Measuring your carbon footprint for all of your business travel will allow your company to accurately assess its environmental impact. The results will show you your company’s level of impact and help you implement an effective sustainable travel protocol.
Require Employees To Travel Less
Business travel is a very important part of a company's growth and success. However, you can still achieve your business goals while contributing to the environment by requiring your employees to travel only if it's necessary.
Technology today has more than capable means of setting up successful and effective conferences and productive online meetings. You can prioritise online meetings as the initial solution and make business travel your plan B. As finance managers or CFOs, this will help your company save money while still achieving your business goals.
Use Sustainability Data When Selecting Suppliers
The sustainability of your company can also rely greatly on suppliers. That’s why it’s crucial to choose suppliers whose sustainable commitments align with yours and build cooperative processes with your sustainability target.
To effectively choose a supplier, use the company’s sustainability data and match it with the supplier’s data and standards. Here are important standards that you should confirm with suppliers:
- Are certified environmental management system (EMS)
- Adhere to UN Global Conduct
- Comply with fair trade practices
- Align with industry regulations and legislation
- Have an impressive health and safety record
- Enforce an anti-corruption policy
Encourage or Require the Use of Public Transportation
If business travel is necessary, always implement the use of public transportation for land travel. Using public transportation such as buses, trains, subways, etc. can benefit the environment by reducing the usage of single-occupancy vehicles. Your company can contribute to saving more fuel, lessen air pollution, and reduce the carbon impact of the area if you have your employees use public transportation.
Use Sustainability Data in the Travel Booking Process
Using sustainable data allows your company to make wiser decisions about how to run your travel booking process and helps your company be on the right path towards achieving your sustainability goals. Many booking platforms are offering transparent sustainability data and promoting sustainable travel.
By paying attention to sustainability data from a booking platform that has gathered qualitative data through surveys, client comments, and insights about sustainability, your business can improve the booking process. Consider information on resource usage, such as how much electricity, water, materials, and waste they consume, as well as the amount of money you can save if you book a reservation with them.
Encourage or Require Hotel Options That Meet Sustainability Goals
With more people growing concerned about the environment, there are now several eco-friendly hotels available, especially for business travel. These sustainable hotels are sometimes referred to as green hotels. Because they may have sustainability goals that are comparable to yours, green hotels will help you meet your sustainability goal.
Green hotels can meet your sustainability goals through their concepts, such as:
- Sustainably sourced hotel materials, furnish, and products
- Energy and water efficiency
- Strict rules for reducing plastic waste
- Automated energy control
- Serving local food
- Recyclable products and materials
Encourage or Require Airlines That Meet Sustainability Requirements Goals
Numerous airlines have made announcements about initiatives to try and improve their sustainability in the upcoming years. According to the Chemical and Engineering News, Delta Air Lines pledged $1 billion to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. United Airlines and JetBlue both made commitments to get there by 2050.
Similar promises have been made by a large number of other international airlines. Make sure your travel manager gives priority to airlines that support sustainable travel.
Purchase Carbon Offset
When you purchase a carbon offset, you are purchasing a promise from an organisation that it will eliminate a specific amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. By purchasing carbon offsets from trustworthy companies like TerraPass, The Carbon Offset Company, Native Energy Solutions, and others, your company can reduce its carbon impact. Additionally, some airlines provide offsets as a method for your company and business traveller to offset the carbon footprint of your travel.
Encourage Employees To Choose Sustainable Options
The effectiveness of your company's sustainable travel policy can be greatly impacted by persistently encouraging employees to make environmentally friendly decisions.
Encourage your employees even when they are not on business travel. Encourage them to commute to work using public transit, promote a paperless office, conserve energy by turning off computers and lights when not in use, preserve water, and adopt other environmentally friendly practices at all times, whether in the office, outside work, and at home.