Creating a Brighter Future
You may have heard of ecotourism, a movement that has been around for decades. Now, as more and more companies are making a conscious effort to embrace eco-business travel, it’s more than just a hip trend.
This movement has gathered pace in recent years as global awareness of our need to protect the planet has inspired business travelers to reduce their environmental footprint.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with AIG, took an in-depth look at the ‘greening’ of business travel when they conducted the study Corporate Social Responsibility: Going Beyond Green in 2017. Of the companies surveyed:
- 37% track the carbon footprint of their travelers
- 23% use a sustainability index or scorecard system to understand the sustainability practices of key suppliers
- 7% set carbon emission reduction targets
The good news is that even the smallest changes can have significant environmental impacts – and these changes often benefit an organization’s bottom line. Our global teams are seeing a noticeable difference in more clients incorporating sustainability practices into their travel program and requirements.
As part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, we are proud to champion social responsibility and greener business travel practices. This year, we brought the Brighter Futures initiative to life in the offices where our employees work, in our travel and through initiatives for employees to embrace in their personal lives. The core philosophies behind the Brighter Futures Program are a fundamental part of our DNA and are designed to shine a light on issues we are passionate about.
We understand that socially responsible travel and practices in the workplace lead to higher employee satisfaction and appeal to new employees who support sustainable practices.
Here’s how to be green on the go:
- Choose an airline that offers a carbon offset option, as the CO2 emissions produced by the aviation industry significantly impact the atmosphere. According to a 2010 NASA report, about 25% of airplane emissions come from landing and taking off.
- Pack lightly, as every extra pound of luggage weight increases an aircraft’s carbon emissions.
- Reduce paper usage by using more digital tools and technology for tickets, hotel confirmations and itineraries.
- Choose a hotel with solid green credentials. Many hotel groups now promote environmental initiatives including solar power, water recycling, energy-efficient lighting, kitchen waste recycling, sustainable furnishings, garden walls to control temperature and organic menus.
- Choose a hotel near your business meeting or event, so you catch public transport, use a share bike/electric scooter program or walk.
- Be an environmentally responsible guest; reuse towels, turn lights and air conditioning off when you’re out, take short showers and avoid dry cleaning clothes.
- Pack your own toiletries in reusable containers, BYO toothbrush and a reusable razor. Don’t add to plastic waste by using the throwaway amenity products.
- Travel with a reusable coffee cup, stainless steel straw, reusable drink bottle and a compact reusable shopping bag.
- In restaurants choose local ingredients to reduce food miles, ask about sustainable seafood and order the local wine or beer. You’ll be stimulating the local economy and trying something new at the same time.
- If you need to hire a car, ask the car hire company if they have electric or hybrid vehicles available.
- If you’re taking a gift home, look for locally produced products at markets or support local artisans who use renewable materials.