Question: When is 2.5% a large number?
That’s the percentage of global emissions that comes from aviation. And while that might seem like a tiny amount, only five countries on earth produce more emissions. Plus, that number is expected to grow: One study predicted that by 2050, aviation emissions will account for a quarter of the world’s “carbon budget”—the amount that would help keep global temperatures in check.
While we at TripActions love air travel, of course, we also love Mother Earth—and never want to take her gifts for granted. That’s why the TripActions Enterprise Customer Success Team recently led a conversation about the importance of sustainable development at a local South Florida GBTA meeting. Travel suppliers, travel management companies, and travel managers all contributed to the lively discussion on this extremely important topic that inspires so many of us to do what we can to drive change.
One area we focused on was how everyone can help make a difference, starting right now. Here are six key suggestions that some of our most valued vendors, suppliers, and partners shared during this engaging meeting.
1. Create a flexible travel policy. Encourage mindful decisions by allowing your travelers the freedom to make more sustainable decisions, such as booking economy flights, avoiding layovers, and traveling during the daytime. Moving forward, keep an eye on the airlines and car rental companies pursuing eco-friendly designs and fuels—and look for an uptick in electric vehicle rentals in the near future.
2. Explore alternatives to flying. Trains release around seven times less emissions than a plane does on the exact same route.
3. Pick environmentally conscious hotel partners. Some large hotel chains have taken action by getting their properties LEED-certified (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design). Their eco-innovations include creating green rooftop environments, growing produce onsite, and developing smart standards for cleaning and laundering. Some hotels have even created their own rooftop bee farms to help support this important species—and so guests can enjoy locally sourced honey.
4. Go green on the ground. Offer incentives to employees who opt to take public transportation or rideshares.
5. Surface emissions data in the booking process. Let your travelers see the carbon impact of their travel options before they book, so they have the opportunity to make eco-friendly choices. Then leverage dashboards, like those built into the TripActions platform, to identify top carbon savers at your company and reward them!
6. Speak up! Start a conversation with leadership teams and upper management to create an ongoing plan around sustainability efforts. A comprehensive program may not happen all at once, but every small step helps.
Remember: Reporting on emissions is important, and working together for carbon reduction is even more impactful. Learn more about how to partner with TripActions so we can help support your sustainable development plan. And join the conversation with your peers on the TripActions Community.