27 Nov 19

Do more to integrate sustainability into travel policy

This is the message from new research by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with SAP Concur.

With high-profile individuals (including members of the British royal family) falling foul of unwise travel choices of late, sustainable travel is on the agenda but has yet to make its way into corporate travel policy.

GBTA and SAP conducted research among corporate travel buyers in Europe. Only a third (33%) indicated they mandate or encourage travellers to book with suppliers using sustainable practices. However, 70% say sustainability efforts will be more important to their company’s travel program in the next 12-24 months. This includes:

  • Providing travellers with sustainable options in booking.
  • Sourcing with suppliers who implement sustainable practices.
  • Mandating travellers to make sustainable choices.
  • Displaying carbon emissions information in search results.

Technology is helping solve the sustainable travel problem

“Business travel is a core part of all global business, so it’s crucial we find a way to mitigate the damage it causes the environment,” said Pierre-Emmanuel Tetaz, SVP & GM – EMEA, SAP Concur. “We’re fortunate to be in a position where technological developments are helping us solve problems like these, so it’s about how we use and apply this tech to help reduce the damage done.”

Part of the issue is that the power to make sustainable choices lies with the traveller who may not have the information or motivation to make that choice. In response to pressure, travel managers are taking sustainability into their own hands due to requests from travellers (said 58% of respondents) and senior leadership (55%).

Opportunities exist in working with suppliers to integrate sustainability into travel policy. Initiatives include: mandating or encourage travellers to fly direct whenever possible; promoting shared transport and the use of public transport.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway