Your company’s travel program is undoubtedly multi-faceted, with many different features that are optimized to create a seamless platform for employee travel.
However, the reality is that while your employees are off trotting around the globe, they are (most of the time unknowingly) leaving behind a considerable carbon footprint in their trail. The travel industry as a whole is a huge contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions without enough countering steps being taken from divisions within this sector.
Anyway, global warming is not on your doorstep, so why should it matter to you?
Apart from the obvious environmental concerns, here are some reasons that as a Travel Procurement Manager, you should seriously begin to consider incorporating sustainable practices into your travel program.
Carbon Reporting is the Future
Your affiliation with another business often relies on a similar code of conduct. If the crux of their operations rely on employing socially responsible measures, more than likely, they are looking for a corporation that reflects their shared values and interests.
As mentioned before, the travel industry is notorious for its huge contribution towards carbon emissions. Now, envisage a future where companies are expected to provide a carbon emissions report. In most cases, if your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) isn’t on par with a certain standard, you might lose that business partnership altogether.
Well, the fact of the matter is, carbon reporting will soon be a normal feature of business travel technology, alongside your expenditure and traveller tracking.
Simply by introducing proactive steps to leverage your travellers’ carbon footprints, you are on the path to creating a socially responsible travel program.
It Encourages Employee Compliance
By introducing sustainable methods that your staff can help implement, your employees have a chance to get involved in the “bigger picture”. It can even help enhance your employees’ own philanthropies. Aside from allowing them to make positive contributions, it always resonates with an employee when their company has a great public image and reputation.
By introducing compliance requirements for travel sustainability, you can set up a framework which your travellers can follow.
As a company that puts in the miles globally, alerting your employees of the emissions that their travel puts out can assist both employee and employer to construct a way to try to nullify the company carbon footprint. It also encourages your employees to be more conscious of their activities and push them to implement your sustainability framework.
It Improves Public Image
The centre of your public image will revolve around your social responsibility. Consumers often feel more inclined to commit to a company that practices sound CSR. 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from responsible companies, which says it all. It’s because a company that is willing to invest in CSR will, more often than not, come across as more honest, trustworthy and therefore favourable in the eyes of their audience.
This will be seen through your carbon emissions offset, your proactivity in facing the growing environmental issue and acknowledging the part that the travel industry plays in the deteriorating environment.
Whatever the scale of your organisation, large or small, by implementing a sustainable business travel program, you can be part of a more socially conscious, responsible culture. The aforementioned benefits certainly outweigh the counter-arguments and sooner rather than later, it will start becoming harder and harder to evade responsibility.
To see what we're currently doing to encourage sustainable business travel for our clients,