If you're responsible for arranging business travel, you know that sustainability is a big concern.
You also know that finding hotels and airlines that meet your sustainability criteria can be difficult. That's why we've put together this Ultimate Guide to Corporate Travel Sustainability. This guide will show you how to make your business travel more sustainable without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
Whether you're looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint or simply want to save money on your travel budget, this guide has something for you!
Chapter 1: Corporate Travel's Impact on Carbon Emissions
Section 1: Carbon Emission in General
Did you know that business travel is responsible for a significant portion of global carbon emissions? In fact, business travel accounts for as much as 30% of all transportation-related emissions!
With the number of business travellers increasing every year, it's clear that we need to find ways to make business travel more sustainable.
Carbon emissions are one of the leading causes of climate change. Aside from business travels, there are so many other things that we do in our daily lives that emit carbon.
For example, the production of goods and services, the use of fossil fuels for energy, and even our daily commute. All of these activities contribute to carbon emissions. If left unchecked, our carbon emissions will continue to increase, causing even more environmental damage.
The takeaway from this section is that business travel is a significant contributor to global carbon emissions. We need to find ways to make business travel more sustainable to reduce our impact on the environment.
Section 2: How Carbon Emissions Are Calculated
When it comes to business travel, carbon emissions are calculated based on the distance travelled and mode of transportation used. Business travellers typically fly in larger planes that use more fuel per passenger mile.
Carbon emissions from business travel can also be affected by the number of stops made during the trip. For example, a business traveller who makes two stopovers on their way to their final destination will emit more carbon than a business traveller who takes a direct flight.
This section's takeaway is that business travel carbon emissions are calculated based on the distance travelled and mode of transportation used. To reduce your business travel's carbon footprint, you can take shorter trips, fly economy class, or take direct flights whenever possible.
Section 3: The Impact of Transportation on Climate Change
The transportation sector is one of the leading sources of carbon emissions. In fact, it's responsible for about 27% of all GHG-related emissions! This is because the transportation sector relies heavily on fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide (CO₂) into the atmosphere when they're burned.
Not only do cars and trucks emit CO₂, but planes do, too. In fact, flying is one of the most carbon-intensive activities we can do. A single round-trip flight from New York to Los Angeles emits about 1.4 metric tons of CO₂ per person!
This means that business travel has a significant impact on climate change. And with the number of business travellers increasing every year, it's clear that we need to find ways to make business travel more sustainable.
There are several ways to make business travel more sustainable. For example, you can choose to fly economy class instead of business class, take direct flights whenever possible, and avoid making multiple stopovers.
You can also offset your carbon emissions by investing in carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are investments that go towards projects that reduce carbon emissions.
For example, you could invest in a project that helps plant trees, which absorb CO₂ from the atmosphere. Or you could invest in a project that provides clean energy to communities in developing countries. These projects help reduce emissions while also providing other benefits, like improving public health or creating jobs.
The takeaway here is that business travel has a significant impact on climate change. To make business travel more sustainable, you can choose to fly economy class, take direct flights whenever possible, and invest in carbon offsets.
Section 4: How Much Does a Ticket Contribute to Carbon Emissions?
The price of a business class ticket can be up to four times the price of an economy class ticket due to the extra space taken up. So, how much does your business travel budget contribute to carbon emissions?
To put it into perspective, let's say you're flying business class from New York to Los Angeles. Your flight will emit about 1.4 metric tons of CO₂.
If you're flying economy class, your flight will emit about 0.35 metric tons of CO₂. This means that business class travellers are responsible for emitting twice as much carbon as economy class travellers!
So, if you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint, flying business class is not the way to go. Think of this first before booking your next business trip!
Even though flying business class may be more comfortable, it's not worth the environmental impact.
This section's takeaway is that business class travellers are responsible for emitting twice as much carbon as economy class travellers. If you're looking to reduce your business travel's carbon footprint, fly economy instead of business class.
Section 5: What Can We Do About It?
Now that we know the impact business travel has on climate change, what can we do about it?
The business travel industry is slowly but surely waking up to the need for change. For example, some airlines are investing in more fuel-efficient planes, and many hotels are working to reduce their energy consumption.
But, there’s still a long way to go. As business travellers, we can play a role in making business travel more sustainable. Here are a few things you can do:
- Choose eco-friendly transportation options when possible, such as trains or buses instead of planes.
- Stay in green hotels that have energy-saving practices in place.
- Pack light to reduce the plane’s fuel consumption.
Read more about these things in Chapter 2.
Chapter 2: Reduce Your Airline Carbon Footprint.
Section 1: Consider Alternative Travel Options
Before booking your flight, consider alternative travel options that may have a lower carbon footprint. For example, take a train instead of flying if you're traveling within Europe. Not only is this a more sustainable option, but it can also be more enjoyable!
You'll avoid the stressful airport experience and you'll get to see some beautiful scenery along the way. If you're traveling within the United States, consider taking a bus instead of flying.
Buses have come a long way in recent years and many offer amenities like Wi-Fi and power outlets. Plus, they're often more affordable than flying!
The takeaway here is that there are many sustainable travel options available. Do your research before booking your next flight to find the best option for you.
Section 2: Fly Direct
In the event that flying is the only option, try to take direct flights whenever possible. Direct flights emit less carbon than flights with stopovers because they don't require the plane to take off and land multiple times. Not only is this better for the environment, but it's also better for your time and your stress levels!
This section's takeaway is to try to take direct flights whenever possible. This means always being proactive about choosing the most efficient business travel option.
Section 3: Pack Light
Packing light has two benefits when it comes to business travel. First, it helps reduce the plane's fuel consumption. This is because the heavier the plane, the more fuel it burns.
Second, it helps you avoid paying excess baggage fees. Many airlines are now charging for checked bags, so it's important to pack light to avoid these fees.
If you're not sure what to pack, consider investing in a travel wardrobe that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. This way, you'll have everything you need without overpacking!
The takeaway is to pack light to reduce the plane's fuel consumption and avoid excess baggage fees.
Section 4: Fly With a Low-cost Airline
Low-cost airlines are often criticized for their environmental impact. However, they can actually be more sustainable than traditional airlines if you fly with them smartly.
Look for low-cost airlines that have newer fleets of planes. These planes are usually more fuel-efficient than older planes.
You should also look for low-cost airlines that offset their carbon emissions. Many of these airlines allow you to purchase carbon offsets when you book your flight.
Finally, make sure to fly with a low-cost airline that has a good safety record. This is important for both your safety and the environment!
This section's takeaway places emphasis on choosing a low-cost airline that is fuel-efficient and has a good safety record.
Section 5: Create a Detailed Travel Policy Document
A corporate travel policy is a document that outlines the company's guidelines for business travel.
Creating a detailed travel policy can help make business travel more sustainable. Why? Because it allows you to set parameters for things like air travel, ground transportation, and lodging.
For example, you can require employees to take direct flights whenever possible or stay in green hotels. By setting these guidelines, you can make business travel more sustainable for your company!
The key takeaway for this section is the importance of creating a detailed travel policy document. This document can help make business travel more sustainable by setting parameters for air travel, ground transportation, and lodging.
Chapter 3: How To Create a Sustainable Travel Protocol for Your Company
Set Company Sustainability Targets
The first step in creating a sustainable travel protocol is to set company sustainability targets. These targets will help you measure your progress and ensure that your travel policy is effective. Some examples of sustainability targets include reducing business travel emissions by X percent or only flying direct when possible.
You have to make sure that you monitor and review your progress towards these targets on a regular basis. This way, you can make changes to your travel policy as needed.
In addition, you have to make it clear to all your employees that these targets exist. They need to be aware of the company's sustainability goals and how their business travel can help or hinder these goals.
The key takeaway from this section is the importance of setting company sustainability targets. These targets will help you measure your progress and ensure that your travel policy is effective.
Measuring Carbon Footprint for All Travel
The second step in creating a sustainable travel protocol is to measure the carbon footprint of all business travel. This includes air travel, ground transportation, and lodging.
There are many ways to measure your carbon footprint. The most important thing is to be consistent in how you measure it.
Once you have your carbon footprint data, you need to track it over time. This will help you see if your travel policy is having the desired effect of reducing emissions.
You also have to make sure that all your employees are aware of the carbon footprint of their business travel. This way, they can make informed decisions about how to travel more sustainably.
The key takeaway from this section is the importance of measuring the carbon footprint of all business travel. This will help you track your progress and ensure that your travel policy is effective.
Require Employees To Travel Less
Sure, traveling is fun. But it's also a huge contributor to your company's carbon footprint. So, one of the best ways to make business travel more sustainable is to require employees to travel less.
There are many ways to do this. For example, you can encourage employees to use video conferencing for meetings instead of flying. Or, you can set a travel budget and require employees to stay within it.
Once you have set policies in place, your employees need to be aware of them. This way, they won't end up accidentally breaking the rules.
The key takeaway from this section is the importance of requiring employees to travel less. This is a great way to reduce your company's carbon footprint and make business travel more sustainable.
Use Sustainability Data When Selecting Suppliers
The final step in creating a sustainable travel protocol is to use sustainability data when selecting suppliers. This includes choosing airlines, ground transportation providers, and hotels that are environmentally friendly.
For example, you can choose an airline that offsets its carbon emissions or a hotel that uses green energy. Doing this will help guarantee that your business travel is as sustainable as possible.
It's also important to consider the sustainability data of your suppliers when making decisions about business travel. This way, you can ensure that your business travel is having a positive impact on the environment.
The key takeaway from this section is the importance of using sustainability data when selecting suppliers. This will help you guarantee that the people you do business with are also committed to sustainable business practices.
Encourage or Require the Use of Public Transportation
Another way to reduce your business travel footprint is to encourage or require the use of public transportation instead of renting a car every time employees visit a new city. If your business has the budget for it, you could even purchase annual passes for public transportation in cities where your employees frequently travel.
Public transportation is not only more environmentally-friendly than renting a car, but it can also be more cost-effective for your business.
If you must rent a car for business travel, consider renting a hybrid or electric vehicle to further reduce your company's environmental impact. You could even offer employees a financial incentive to choose a more sustainable option when renting a car for business travel.
Encouraging or requiring the use of public transportation is a great way to reduce your business travel footprint and save money at the same time. Therefore, the key takeaway here is to encourage or require the use of public transportation whenever possible.
Use Sustainability Data in the Travel Booking Process
As business travel becomes more sustainable, data is becoming an increasingly important part of the travel booking process. By understanding and utilizing sustainability data, businesses can make informed decisions about their travel spending that will positively impact the environment and their bottom line. Therefore, owners of businesses should include in their travel budget not only the cost of the flight, hotel, and other expenses, but also the environmental impact of the business trip.
To get started, business owners can use a variety of data sources to estimate the carbon footprint of their business travel. These data sources must be used in order to make an accurate business travel carbon footprint calculation.
The most important data source for business travel is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) eGRID database. This database provides comprehensive, up-to-date information on the emissions of over 900 power plants in the United States.
In addition to the EPA's eGRID database, business owners can also use the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Emissions Database for Good Agricultural Practices and Greenhouse Gas Emissions to estimate the carbon footprint of their business travel. This database provides information on emissions from a variety of agricultural practices, including livestock production, crop production, and forestry.
By using these data sources, business owners can accurately estimate the carbon footprint of their business travel and make informed decisions about their travel spending.
Encourage or Require Hotel Options That Meet Sustainability Goals
When employees travel, make sure that they book rooms in hotels that match the company's sustainability goals. This might include staying in LEED-certified buildings, supporting local economies, or reducing the business' carbon footprint. If your business doesn't have specific sustainability goals, encourage employees to seek out green hotels or accommodations with sustainable practices.
You can also look for business travel discounts with companies that promote sustainable business travel. This can help offset the cost of business travel while promoting sustainability. Plus, it's a win-win for the environment and your business!
Encourage or Require Airlines That Meet Sustainability Requirements Goals
Aside from hotels, you must also choose airlines that reflect your business' sustainability requirements and goals.
To do this, you can consider a variety of factors, such as an airline's fuel efficiency, emissions standards, and recycling practices. You might also want to consider an airline's commitment to offsetting its carbon emissions.
Airlines that meet your business' sustainability requirements and goals will help reduce the environmental impact of business travel. Therefore, you must only approve business travel with airlines that reflect your business' sustainability goals.
Purchase Carbon Offset
As mentioned in Chapter 1, business travel has a significant carbon footprint. Business owners can purchase carbon offsets to offset the business travel carbon footprint.
Carbon offsets are a way to mitigate the environmental impact of business travel by investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For example, you might invest in a wind farm to offset the emissions from your business travel. By doing this, you can reduce the business travel carbon footprint and help fight climate change.
Carbon offsets are a voluntary way for business owners to offset their business travel emissions. Businesses can purchase carbon offsets through various carbon offset providers.
To find a carbon offset provider, business owners can use the Carbon Offset Directory from The Climate Registry. This directory provides a list of over 100 carbon offset providers, including information on their projects and emissions reductions.
Encourage Employees To Choose Sustainable Options
Last but not least, business owners must encourage employees to choose sustainable business travel options.
This includes everything from choosing the most efficient mode of transportation to packing light to offsetting business travel emissions.
By encouraging employees to choose sustainable business travel options, business owners can significantly reduce the environmental impact of business travel.
There are a variety of ways business owners can encourage employees to choose sustainable business travel options.
One way is to offer incentives, such as gift cards or extra vacation days, for employees who choose sustainable business travel options.
Another way is to require employees to offset their business travel emissions. This can be done through a carbon offset provider or by choosing an airline that offers carbon offsets.
The most important thing is to make sure that employees are aware of the business' sustainability goals and how their business travel choices can impact the environment.
By following these tips, business owners can make sure that their business travel is sustainable and has a minimal environmental impact.