The Importance Of Environmentally Sustainable Corporate Travel Policies

There’s no denying that business travel is essential. From building client and partner relationships to expanding employee skills and field expertise, the reasons behind corporate travel are endless.

However, despite its necessity, it is rapidly becoming unsustainable as climate change progresses. The implementation of eco-friendly policies to combat waste and reduce carbon emissions is now more crucial than ever. So, how can organizations tackle the challenge of climate change on their own? Here is a brief look into the importance of making sustainable corporate travel policies and a few “green” travel strategies that your company can take into consideration.

To start, companies need to recognize their environmental impacts and prioritize change. Not only are sustainable practices good for protecting and preserving natural resources, but they are also good for business, as sustainability sells. Consumers and prospective employees are attracted to companies with green initiatives designed to diminish their impact as well as the impact of personnel as they travel.

One place to begin is by modifying corporate travel policies. Opting for carbon-neutral transportation options — such as zero emission electric cars, vans and buses — and advocating for more purposeful business travel can get the ball rolling.

Ensure employees are on board with company sustainability goals through additional training on best practices. These practices could consist of choosing to dine locally, being more conscious of waste and switching to reusable plastics. It’s easy to rely on hotel toiletries, but single-use plastics such as these can be detrimental to the environment. Encourage employees to use reusable water bottles, containers and utensils through branded merchandise, giveaways and educational resources.

More organizations are making a conscious effort to employ sustainable business travel practices, especially when it comes to flying. Why? Because air travel makes up 12{255857d3c6074047e653473dcfeaa2d98f4c8f124b369981291c937fd65067a2} of all CO2 emissions globally. Encouraging employees to utilize alternative travel means is one approach; however, companies can also choose to partner with certain airlines that are committed to reducing their aviation-related CO2 emissions through sustainable aviation fuels. These forms of fuel can reportedly reduce aviation fuel’s carbon footprint by up to 80{255857d3c6074047e653473dcfeaa2d98f4c8f124b369981291c937fd65067a2}.

Additional ways to make air travel more sustainable include choosing direct flights, selecting aircrafts designed to be more fuel-efficient and packing as light as possible. Studies show that decreasing the weight of a travel bag by 15 pounds can deduct 80 pounds of carbon emissions on long-haul flights. This simple reduction is roughly equivalent to planting two trees. Another straightforward step is to dispense with printing boarding passes, itineraries and other travel documents. Digital documentation and handy apps are all that’s needed on most domestic trips nowadays.

As business operations and travelling returns to normal, take the time to re-evaluate and make your corporate travel policies more sustainable. From large organizations to the individual, we can all improve the way we travel to minimize our carbon footprints. For more statistics and eco-friendly travel tips, please see the accompanying resource.

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