GBTA announces its new Sustainability Leadership Council to guide a greener future for global business travel

Sustainability leaders from across the travel industry will advise on GBTA program initiatives and help drive business travel awareness and change for climate action and beyond

Alexandria, VA  – The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier association serving the business travel industry, announced today the 16 sustainability executives from across the global travel industry who will serve on GBTA’s Sustainability Leadership Council. The Council will advise on GBTA’s overall Sustainability Program in its mission to demonstrate the significant contribution that the business travel sector can make on climate action and corporate responsibility.

In November 2021, GBTA embarked on its “sustainability journey” to bring the industry together to address one of the biggest challenges the business travel sector – and society – are facing today. Since then, 16 travel industry companies stepped forward as Founding Partners of the first-ever GBTA Sustainability Program, with each nominating an executive from their company to serve on the Council.

“We are grateful for the enthusiastic response from industry partners in support of GBTA’s Sustainability Program and look forward to working together with the Council. The business travel industry understands the immediate and important need to accelerate its focus on sustainability, including finding a balanced way forward in connecting businesspeople via travel while better protecting the planet,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA.

Council members have deep sustainability experience and/or expertise and will serve a one-year calendar term to help guide GBTA’s efforts, define priority areas for collaborative and global action, and help raise the bar for the business travel industry overall:

  • Accor: Brune Poirson, Chief Sustainability Officer
  • American Airlines: Jill Blickstein, Managing Director and Global Head of ESG
  • American Express Global Business Travel: Nora Lovell Marchant, Vice President, Global Sustainability
  • BCD Travel: Kathy Jackson, Vice President, Executive Chair Sustainability
  • BWH Hotel Group Italia: Sara Digiesi, Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer, Italy
  • Delta Air Lines: Amelia DeLuca, Vice President, Sustainability
  • Enterprise Holdings: Claire Carstensen, Global Sustainability Manager
  • Hertz: Katie Leone, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Hilton: Jean Garris Hand, Vice President, Global ESG
  • HRS: Martin Biermann, Chief Product Officer
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts: Townsend Bailey, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Americas
  • Marriott International: Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability and Supplier Diversity, Global Operations
  • SAP Concur: Hendrik Vordenbaeumen, Vice President, Product Strategy and Global Head of Sustainability
  • Southwest Airlines: Stacy Malphurs, Vice President, Supply Chain Management and Environmental Sustainability
  • Reed & Mackay – a TripActions Company: Chris Truss, Sustainability Director
  • United Airlines: Lauren Riley, Chief Sustainability Officer and Managing Director, Global Environmental Affairs

“There is a real need for our entire industry to tackle this incredibly complex challenge. And sustainability will be a key factor for business travel’s recovery. Both companies and travelers want to better manage the impact of business trips that will and must still take place. GBTA is in a unique position to help champion a collective, global effort that delivers meaningful outcomes,” said Mark Cuschieri who is the Council Chair and Vice President, GBTA Board of Directors.

Jenny Sabineu serves as the Council Vice Chair and is also the Chair of the global GBTA Sustainability Committee, which will focus on identifying and developing the right tools to educate and guide GBTA members. Delphine Millot, Senior Vice President, Sustainability for GBTA, has oversight for the Council as well as for GBTA’s Sustainability Program and initiatives overall.

“At GBTA, our long-term vision is a future where connecting businesspeople via travel can be done with a net positive impact on our planet and local communities. By coming together, the global business travel sector can make a bigger impact on climate action and corporate responsibility. This is a journey best taken together,” said Millot.

She said the priorities for GBTA in its sustainability journey are to raise awareness and educate GBTA members on the challenges ahead; define unifying goals and a holistic vision for a sustainable future for business travel; and to increase collaboration and engagement across all levels of the industry.

She outlined some of the GBTA Sustainability Program initiatives currently underway:

  • In the coming weeks, GBTA will release the global industry’s first-ever comprehensive study – across travel suppliers, travel buyers, and policy and government stakeholders – on the state of sustainability in the business travel industry and actions to improve the sector’s environmental performance.
  • Sustainability will be a major theme – including education, research, speakers, and expo opportunities – throughout the GBTA Convention, August 14-17, 2022, in San Diego, with a featured spotlight on sustainability on Tuesday, August 16.
  • GBTA is also developing an education program and toolkit for corporate travel managers to help build sustainable travel programs and influence traveler behavior.
  • On November 8, GBTA will host its inaugural GBTA Sustainability Summit in Brussels, prior to its GBTA Europe Conference 2022. Timed adjacent to the United Nations Climate Summit, COP27, GBTA’s one-day event will bring together the business travel industry and policy leaders to outline concrete solutions to decarbonize the sector in alignment with the Paris Climate Goals.

For more information visit www.gbta.org/sustainability. Companies interested in supporting the GBTA Sustainability Program can reach out to their GBTA Account Manager or [email protected].