Firms step towards greener travel

18 October 2006
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19 October 2006

Sixty per cent of companies with corporate social responsibility programmes feature details about their travel volumes in their public reporting on the issue, according to a survey of buyer members by the Institute of Travel Management. Companies which publicise their track records usually list information such as how many miles their personnel have flown and an estimate of the resulting carbon-dioxide emissions.

The survey also suggests that an increasing number of businesses are taking steps to curb the environmental damage caused by their travel. Forty-five per cent aim to reduce emissions through reduced travel, for example by using alternative communication such as video conferencing. In addition, 28 per cent encourage the use of rail in preference to road or air, while 13 per cent contribute to emission offsetting schemes and 3 per cent award contracts to travel suppliers on the basis of their environmental record.

However, the survey does also betray a degree of cynicism about CSR. "Thirty-one per cent of those surveyed believe CSR is either a short-term tactical tool or a fad that will eventually go away," said Colin Goldney, managing director of Argate Consulting, which conducted the research for the ITM.

"CSR is dominated by larger organisations because they are required to report on their activities in this area to satisfy shareholders' demands."

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