Travel buyers neglect sustainability

14 December 2009

14 December 2009 | Jake Kanter

Two-thirds of business travel buyers are operating without a sustainable procurement policy, according to research.

Of 1,400 travel purchasers surveyed by the Business Travel & Meetings Show (BTMS), 67 per cent had no green buying standards.

Some 21 per cent of the respondents said sustainability was not a priority, while 12 per cent admitted it is not currently “economically viable”. A further 48 per cent said the recession has forced them to rethink commitments to environmentally friendly travel.

Buyers are neglecting more costly sustainable options including airlines that have the latest fuel-efficient aircraft, or those that do not use such antiquated planes. Travel managers are also purchasing flights for domestic trips, as train journeys can be more expensive.

David Chapple, a director at the BTMS, said although good work exists on green procurement, both buyers and suppliers are finding it a challenge in the current economic climate.

On a more positive note, 21 per cent of the purchasers plan to introduce a green procurement policy. While of the 44 per cent that already have a strategy, half plan to increase work on sustainability.

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