Five ways to travel more sustainably for business

Five ways to travel more sustainably for business

According to recent research from Trainline Partner Solutions, 83% of companies want to ‘bolster support’ for staff to book lower carbon travel options, with just over half (52%) having already set targets for reducing their emissions from business travel. Meanwhile, 39% of businesses surveyed said they plan to adopt a Travel Management Company to help them track and reduce their carbon emissions.  

If your organisation wants to do more to reduce its carbon footprint, here are five things you can start doing to lower your company’s impact on the environment and work towards your ESG goals.

1. Choose the most environmentally friendly mode of transport 

The first and most impactful step toward sustainable business travel is choosing transportation options that minimise emissions. This typically involves moving away from air travel, which can be one of the largest contributors to an individual's carbon footprint, towards more eco-friendly alternatives such as trains or buses for short distances, or even active travel (such as cycling and walking) for in-city trips. 

When flights are unavoidable, opting for direct routes rather than those requiring multiple layovers can drastically reduce the overall emissions – as can choosing economy class rather than first/business class. Additionally, using newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft can further lower the trip's carbon cost. Travellers should seek out airlines that publicly report their emissions and invest in eco-friendly practices. 

If you’re hiring a car at your destination, consider an electric or hybrid vehicle – and if there are multiple travellers in your party, encourage carpooling.  

2. Invest in carbon offsetting programmes  

With the best will in the world, no business trip will be completely emission-free. Therefore, investing in corporate carbon offsetting programmes can help you ‘cancel out’ the emissions you create with initiatives that help to reduce greenhouse gasses elsewhere.  

One of the most popular ways of doing this is to pay organisations to plant trees on your behalf, but there are other offsetting schemes available – including energy efficiency projects, and programmes that support biodiversity and conservation.  

3. Use a Travel Management Company and leverage data 

Engaging a Travel Management Company (TMC) can be a strategic move to streamline the sustainable efforts of corporate travel. TMCs should provide comprehensive reporting, allowing businesses to make informed decisions that reduce environmental impact. Here at Travel Counsellors for Business, we can give your organisation in-depth analytics that have the power to influence and shape decisions.  

By leveraging data, TMCs can help identify patterns in travel that may lend themselves to more sustainable alternatives. Leveraging a TMC's expertise can result in more efficient travel itineraries, lower costs, and most importantly, reduced carbon emissions. Corporate travel providers are also often at the forefront of advocating for sustainable travel practices, ensuring that their clients are informed and in alignment with the latest industry standards. 

4. Choose hotels with environmentally friendly practices 

Where you stay during business travel is as significant as how you get there. Hotels that prioritise sustainable practices can significantly lessen the environmental impact of accommodation. 

When you choose Travel Counsellors for Business, you and your dedicated Travel Counsellor will have access to over 20,000 ‘Green Leaf’ properties – which have all been recognised for their sustainability initiatives that align with the standard laid out by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. 

5. Go paperless  

Reducing paper usage is a simple yet effective way to make business travel more sustainable. With the prevalence of digital platforms and tools, there's often no need for hard copies of itineraries, tickets, or meeting materials. With us, you’ll be able to access all the documents you need for your trip using the myTC app, so there’s no need to print out confirmations and tickets.  

When you’re on your trip, opt for electronic payment methods that reduce the need for paper receipts – something that’s not only good for the environment, but easier to manage in terms of submitting expenses.  

In conclusion, sustainability and business travel can coexist harmoniously through thoughtful choices and conscious actions. By implementing the suggestions above, organisations and their employees can engage in sustainable practices that benefit the planet.  

Ready to find out how Travel Counsellors for Business can support your business with sustainable travel initiatives? Get in touch for a no-obligation chat about how we can add value to your company. 


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