Corporate Travel Resolutions #1 : Becoming more sustainable
There is no denying that there has been a noticeable awakening of the world’s conscience when it comes to our impact on the environment and the movement is gathering more and more momentum as time continues.
As a result, there is an increasing amount of expectation being placed on corporate organisations to address their own environmental footprint; expectation from customers who are demanding more social responsibility, expectation from the government in the form of legislation and expectation from employees, who want to know that they’re part of a company that cares about the future of the environment.
Travel, of course, has an impact on the environment and will be firmly in the spotlight when it comes to reviewing how your organisation operates. However, for many businesses the issue is much more complex than simply enforcing a travel ban and developing a more sustainable approach to corporate travel will rest on making smart choices that find a balance between looking after the environment, the traveller and the organisation.
As we move into a new year, here’s what to consider as you make those initial first steps towards a more sustainable approach to corporate travel:
As with any decision for change or a move to implement a new initiative, it’s vital that all stakeholders are clear on why your organisation is deciding to do this now. Has this been a goal that’s been on the agenda for a while? Is there increasing governmental or legislative pressure? Or societal pressure? Are others in your sector making similar changes?
Either and all of these reasons are valid. Knowing why you’re trying to make your organisation’s approach to corporate travel more environmentally friendly is the first step in making it a reality. It will help you to come up with realistic goals to measure your success, as well as develop effective communications strategy.
Importance of travel data
When you begin to work with your TMC to make your corporate travel strategy more sustainable they will want to know how your organisation is travelling. It’s this insight that will allow you and your TMC to make informed decisions about how to amend your organisation’s approach to travel in a realistic way.
Identifying your organisation’s travel habits will show if there are routine parts of travel that can be amended to become more environmentally friendly. For example, a regular meeting that requires group travel could be reviewed and changed to a be a virtual meeting. Or there might be a frequently travelled route that could be amended to be a direct flight, rather than a journey with a stopover.
Your travel policy should really be the firm foundation upon which your corporate travel strategy is built. It forms a set of guidelines that, while definitive, are flexible and should reflect how your organisation’s goals change over time.
How much your corporate travel policy can guide travellers in regards to making more sustainable travel will depend on whether you have rolled out self-booking or are working with a travel team, but it is still advisable to include a section on sustainable travel within your policy. This will show your employees that your organisation is taking steps to address the issue, as well as ensuring that your travel policy is fit for the future.
For more advice on how to make your corporate travel strategy more sustainable, take a look at our Sustainability Series