Over Half of North American Companies Have Corporate Sustainability Programs in Place
Alexandria, VA (April 4, 2017) – Only one in six travel management professionals (16 percent) currently incentivize their business travelers to stay in hotels with sustainable practices, according to a new study released today by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association, in partnership with AIG Travel. Even fewer (4 percent) require travelers to book suppliers with sustainable practices, leaving a huge opportunity for the business travel industry to adopt and even incentivize more sustainable practices.
The study, Corporate Social Responsibility: Going Beyond Green, also revealed only 5 percent of travel management professionals incentivize travelers to fly direct, 3 percent incentivize travelers to use public transportation where available and 2 percent incentivize travelers to share transportation to and from the airport when traveling with co-workers.
“Now more than ever before, companies are taking a holistic approach to improving what many call the ‘triple bottom line,’ comprised of social, environmental and financial factors, or the ‘three P’s,” people, planet and profits,” said Kate Vasiloff, GBTA research director. “Travel management professionals are uniquely positioned to take a leadership role within their organizations when it comes to making environmentally-conscious travel policies, vendor and supplier selections and options for travelers.”
More than half (53 percent) of travel management professionals report their companies have a formal corporate sustainability program in place. When it comes to building sustainability into travel programs, the importance of evaluating existing and potential suppliers from a sustainability standpoint cannot be overlooked. Travel management professionals already take into account a myriad of factors including price, traveler preference and convenience. Contracting with sustainability-focused suppliers signals an organization’s concern and commitment to reducing and counteracting the harmful impact of business travel on the environment.
When it comes to decisions for meeting and event planning, cost savings, convenience and sustainability often go hand-in-hand. For example, hosting an event with accommodations within walking distance saves on transportation, enhances the attendee experience and cuts down on the need to use CO2-emitting vehicles to transport attendees. When considering factors in a decision to contract with meetings and event suppliers, the top three sustainability-focused factors travel management professionals give some or a lot of consideration to include: finding a venue with enough walkable housing options to accommodate all attendees (59 percent), selecting cities with airports accessible by public transportation (34 percent) and choosing venues that support paperless events through use of digital tools and technology (27 percent).
As travel arrangements involve travel management professionals, suppliers and oftentimes, travel management companies (TMCs), each have an important role to play in measuring and reducing carbon emissions from business travel. The travel management professionals surveyed reported that 37 percent of their companies track the carbon footprint of their travelers; 23 percent use a sustainability index or scorecard system to understand the sustainability practices of key suppliers; and 7 percent set carbon emission reduction targets for TMCs.
“Travel is more accessible today than ever before, and with this access comes a responsibility to positively impact the places we visit, whether for business or for leisure” said Jeff Rutledge, CEO of AIG Travel. “This research shows there is a major opportunity for companies to incorporate additional sustainability practices into their travel programs.”
Travel policy is a perfect vehicle to require or incentivize more sustainable practices – and, it can often save money as well. The benefits of establishing and growing corporate social responsibility programs and other sustainability-focused efforts is boundless, ranging from reducing negative impacts on the environment to elevated public perception, increased financial gains and higher employee satisfaction.
The report, Corporate Social Responsibility: Going Beyond Green, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Download a free preview of the research now. The GBTA Foundation will host a webinar, in partnership with AIG Travel, on April 6, 2017 at 2 p.m. ET to highlight the importance of incorporating both human and environmental factors into your organization's program and learn how efforts- both large and small- can have a profound impact on your organization's people, practices and perception. Register today: Corporate Social Responsibility- Going Beyond Green.
Methodology: The GBTA Foundation conducted an online survey of 90 travel management professionals in the United States and Canada. The survey was fielded January 11-19, 2017.
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About the GBTA Foundation
The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. Collectively, GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its growing network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media. The Foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see gbta.org and gbta.org/foundation.
ABOUT AIG TRAVEL AND TRAVEL GUARD
AIG Travel, Inc., a member of American International Group, Inc., is a worldwide leader in travel insurance and global assistance. Travel Guard® is the marketing name for its portfolio of travel insurance solutions and travel-related services, including medical and security services, marketed to both leisure and business travelers around the globe. Services are provided through a network of wholly owned service centers located in Asia, Europe and the Americas. For additional information, please visit our websites at www.aig.com/travel and www.travelguard.com.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. Founded in 1919, today AIG member companies provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement products, and other financial services to customers in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. These diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. AIG’s core businesses include Commercial Insurance and Consumer Insurance, as well as Other Operations. Commercial Insurance comprises two modules – Liability and Financial Lines, and Property and Special Risks. Consumer Insurance comprises of four modules – Individual Retirement, Group Retirement, Life Insurance and Personal Insurance. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com and www.aig.com/strategyupdate | YouTube: www.youtube.com/aig | Twitter: @AIGinsurance | LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/aig. These references with additional information about AIG have been provided as a convenience, and the information contained on such websites is not incorporated by reference into this press release.
AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. All products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available in all countries, and coverage is subject to actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.