5 Steps to a Sustainable Travel Program

Sustainability in Action…

In this third blog post in my new sustainability series, I continue explain why following a responsible approach to a sustainable travel and meetings program is good for business.

Having a sustainable travel program for business travel and meetings is no longer a nice to do’.

‘No longer a ‘nice to do!’

A requirement for greater transparency from stakeholders, staff and customers, linked to a growth in UK and EU legislation, is making it ‘a must do’!

A recent survey by GBTA identified that over 57 percent of European companies have sustainability initiatives in their company’s travel policy, and 52 percent think sustainability is now more important than two years ago. The most common sustainability initiative is the management of carbon emissions (CO2).

When creating a CO2 reduction program start with the end in mind and follow a process that delivers measurable and achievable results. Showing a return on investment alongside gaining support and engagement of both the company leadership and frequent travellers is key to target achievement.


Showing a return on investment is key!

The five steps to success are:

  1. Align the travel program with your company’s key corporate sustainability objectives. Seek out environmental experts in your company. You will be surprised what is available!
  2. Collect CO2 data from key suppliers as well as TMCs, online self-booking tool providers and credit card companies. Just ask!
  3. Define a high-level set of goals and objectives in line with your company’s current environment policy. Then calculate the potential reduction in total CO2g. 5 percent reduction in year 1, rising to 15 percent by year 5. Don’t be shy – be aspirational!
  4. Create a program which identifies ways to minimise business travel & meetings emissions. Options include:
    • Manage: manage the demand for travel.
    • Reduce: choose lower carbon options to reduce the number of emissions per trip.
    • Compensate: invest in carbon offsets to compensate for the emissions produced.
  5. Implement the program. Don’t skimp on resources and be prepared to invest over a sustained period. Integrate and align new travel procedures to ensure business-as-usual. Gain support from ‘Travel Champions’!


The success of any program will come by gaining management endorsement, being patient, delivering clear motivational communications, recognising success and maximising employee engagement.

Stay tuned for my next post in two weeks. If you can’t wait until then and want to learn more now, visit our Project ICARUS website.

I welcome your views and comments. Please feel free to comment below or email me at [email protected].


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