01 March 2007 | Antony Barton
Buyers can now use online tools to compare the carbon emissions for various forms of travel.
Travel management companies Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) and HRG launched carbon calculators at the show. The calculators work out the carbon cost of rail and air journeys at the point of booking.
CWT developed its calculator for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It should be available to other CWT clients from April. HRG's calculator is available as an Excel document and online through its website.
CWT plans to incorporate carbon information for specific airline fleets and hotels in a second version of its calculator, which should be launched later this year.
Nigel Turner, director of public sector account management at CWT, told SM the calculations relied on data provided by travel suppliers. But he added: "It's the best available information in the marketplace. It will give people a good basis to plan their trips with carbon emissions in mind, as well as price and convenience."
Yet a recent survey suggested companies still consider environmentally friendly travel as a minor concern.
Only 32 per cent of firms worldwide reported having a sustainable travel policy and just 20 per cent said their transport policy gave priority to vendors with lower carbon emissions or an environmental charter.
Only 20 per cent required their travel function to produce reports for senior management on such emissions.
The survey, carried out by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and online travel service company KDS, questioned 207 companies worldwide.