Project ICARUS Sustainability Best Practice Certificate Program 2017

Almost all major companies around the world have a corporate responsibility or sustainability program in place today. These programs are an integral part of a company’s future reputation, risk management, employee welfare and profitability.

Responsible Business Travel programs have grown in line with this trend, meaning that corporate buyers now need to be aware of the potential opportunities they bring. This is leading to a Must Do rather than a Nice To Do mentality.

In order to support travel buyers, Project ICARUS will be running the industry’s only Sustainability E-learning Certificate program.

We will deliver a series of educational e-learning sessions aimed primarily at business travel buyers. The program would also be of benefit to suppliers and intermediaries who want to understand more on the subject. The sessions will be in an interactive, practical, workshop style, including learning from best in class travel buyers who have received the ICARUS Gold Medal/Outstanding Achievement Award and delivered a great return on investment for their company.

Each session will be joined by delegates from North America and Europe who will share best practice and better understand the issues from a multi-market perspective.

Be amongst the first to receive industry recognition for best practice in sustainability in business travel and meetings.


Sustainability Intro

Module 1: Introduction to Sustainability in Business Travel and Meetings for Buyers and Suppliers


Tuesday, October 24 | 11:00am-12:30pm EST

Learning Objectives Include:


  1. What sustainability is about and how it relates to business travel and meetings
  2. Why sustainability matters
  3. How to get started and create a sustainable business plan
  4. How to engage an organization in supporting the plan
  5. How to work with other travel buyers across multiple countries

Guest Speakers:


Ivan Berazhny, Senior Lecturer, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science (Finland)


Dirk Glaesser, Director, Sustainable Development of Tourism Programme, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)


Carbon Emissions

Module 2: Calculating a Carbon Footprint/ Reviewing and Exploring Ways to Reduce Carbon Emissions


Thursday, October 26 | 11:00am-12:30pm EST

Learning Objectives Include:


  1. How to create a carbon footprint
  2. Ways of sourcing data
  3. How to make 'SMART CHOICES' and implement best practice when it comes to determining the best way to achieve the business plan
  4. Managing demand for travel
  5. How to work with other travel buyers across multiple countries

Guest Speakers:


Lindsay Wilkinson, Manager - Environmental Sustainability, Coroporate Responsibiliy, IHG


Michael Schneider, Assistant Director, Carbon Offset Business Development, IATA



Supply Chain

Module 3: Working with the Supply Chain/ How Suppliers Can Help Drive a Travel Buyer's Sustainability Objectives


Friday, November 3 | 11:00am-12:30pm EST

Learning Objectives include:


  1. How to determine the best way to work with suppliers
  2. What data is required?
  3. How to understand a supplier’s corporate commitment to the environment in respect of its own business operations
  4. How to identify a supplier’s environmental performance within its own business.
  5. How a supplier can help you achieve your own sustainability targets
  6. How to work with other travel buyers across multiple countries


Guest Speakers:


Cathrine Dehli, Head of Sustainability, Nordic Choice Hotels


Claire Carstensen, Global Sustainability Manager, Enterprise Holdings


Traveller Well-being

Module 4: Evaluating Social and Economic Aspects of a Travel Program Including Frequent Traveler Well-Being and Safety


Tuesday, November 7 | 11:00am-12:30pm EST

Learning Objectives include:


  1. What social aspects of sustainability mean to a company
  2. The key features and benefits of including social aspects in a sustainable travel program
  3. The importance of traveler well-being on employee health and productivity
  4. How to managing corporate risk within a travel program
  5. How to measure and address social issues
  6. How to work with other travel buyers across multiple countries

Guest Speakers:


Eija Kurttila, Global Travel Manager, Telia Company


Harriet Lemberg, Valio


Will Hasler, Business Travel Manager, PwC


Technology and Data

Module 5: Communications/ Gaining Management Support/ Reporting and Publishing a Sustainability Program


Tuesday, November 14 | 11:00am-12:30pm EST

Learning Objectives Include:


  1. The importance and value of a sustainability communications strategy
  2. How to create a sustainability communications strategy
  3. How to gain management commitment and support
  4. How to report on sustainability
  5. The importance of delivering a return on investment
  6. How to work with other travel buyers across multiple countries

Guest Speakers:


Angela Spence, Corporate Responsibility and Diversity & Inclusion, Hertz


Susanna Saikkonen, Sustainability Advisor, Miltton




Successful completion of the series will lead to a recognition certificate in sustainable business travel management. GBTA member registrants will have access to the archives in the GBTA Hub Resource Library.

Kati Ihamäki

Lead Instructor
Director, Corporate Sustainability

Kati Ihamäki has been the Director of Corporate Sustainability at Finnair since 2008. She has been passionately designing and managing Finnair’s corporate responsibility strategy and integrating sustainability issues into Finnair’s competitive strategy. Previously, Kati worked as Finnair’s Alliance Director for oneworld affairs; Manager for Bilateral agreements; Controller for Service and Quality for Stations abroad.

In her current role, Kati leads the development and execution of company-wide strategic sustainability initiatives, while integrating corporate responsibility into business-critical processes throughout the company.

Kati’s responsibilities include ensuring that sustainable development efforts enhance Finnair’s business performance and support the company’s strategy along with the long-term interests of multiple stakeholders. Kati’s work ensures that Finnair's current and future operations are sustainable and in line with the relevant values, norms and regulations. Additionally, she is responsible for the continuous development of Finnair’s corporate responsibility reporting and communication.

She is a member of IATA’s Environmental committee and chair of the CSR taskforce.

Kati is also a member of the board in Plan International Finland and a chairwoman in Finland’s leading corporate responsibility network - FIBS.

For questions about Project ICARUS Best Practice Sustainability Certificate Program, please email GBTA Professional Development at

GTP certified professionals will receive 2 GTP Recertification credits per module for participating in the Strategic Meetings Management: Enterprise Wide Smart Business. Keep documentation of your attendance and report when all 50 recertification credits are earned. Please email questions to