Green travel flies

14 February 2008
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14 February 2008 | Jake Kanter

Companies are embracing "green" business travel options, according to a survey.

The study, by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and travel management firm KDS, showed 35 per cent of the 263 travel buyers questioned have to report on their firm's carbon emissions to senior management, a 15 per cent increase on 2006. In addition, 59 per cent of firms have a general environmental awareness or corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

Sustainable travel policies are key to this, with 68 per cent of organisations either having a policy already or working to implement one.

"CSR is establishing new levels of what is environmentally acceptable to the global business travel industry," said Susan Gurley, global executive director at the ACTE.

Jamie Hindhaugh, head of sourcing, productions, resources and logistics at the BBC, told delegates at the Business Travel Show: "CSR is a new buzzword and to fully recognise it you must really understand your business. It's all about communication. Travel procurement managers need to consider the environment in their costs and interaction with suppliers."

Jonathan Green, sustainable travel manager at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), agreed. He told SM travel buyers must integrate suppliers into their policies.

"At Defra, our travel providers' environmental footprint is also our footprint. On a partnership basis we are seeking to drill down into the supply chain and build sustainability into contracts not just at the front, but to develop them throughout the contracting period. Business as usual is not an option and as such travel management will change," he said.


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