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Sustainability and Climate Action for Global Business Travel to Take Center Stage at GBTA Convention 2022

GBTA delivers on commitment to climate action and building a greener future with first-ever Sustainability Pavilion, education sessions, and tools for business travel professionals
GBTA delivers on commitment to climate action and building a greener future with first-ever Sustainability Pavilion, education sessions, and tools for business travel professionals

Alexandria, VA – The Global Business Travel Association is fully embracing its mission to help the business travel industry create a positive impact and a better future for people and the planet at its upcoming GBTA Convention 2022, August 14-17, at the San Diego Convention Center.

During the event, GBTA will unveil its first-ever Sustainability Pavilion as well as a new Sustainability Toolkit delivering insights, tools, and best practices to empower industry professionals to create sustainable business travel programs for their companies and the travelers they serve. Additionally, the Convention itself will be “going greener.” Onsite efforts include reducing waste and facilitating recycling and composting, encouraging climate-friendly transportation options, providing a plant-based lunch for thousands of attendees, and even eliminating 14,600 square yards of carpet.

“In 2021, we launched our GBTA Sustainability Program with the important objective to not only educate and advocate for a greener way forward for business travel, but also to make it a long-term goal and commitment for the association itself.  There’s no better place to deliver on that than at the world’s largest gathering of the global business travel industry, the 2022 GBTA Convention,” said Delphine Millot, Senior Vice President-Sustainability, GBTA. 

Sustainability on the GBTA Main Stage 

Convention Main Stage sessions will feature expert speakers, panelists and discussion on sustainability – for both people and the planet – and what it might mean for the future of business travel. 

Monday, August 15 

  • 12:15pm-1:45pm PT – Cynthia Marshall, CEO, Dallas Mavericks, will share her strategy for values-based leadership and why putting people first matters most, as well as the difference between diversity and inclusion and why both are important for success. 

Tuesday, August 16 

  • 9:45am-10:45am PT – Ryan Panchadsaram, Technical Advisor to the Chairman, Kleiner Perkins, co-author of “Speed & Scale, An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now” will explore climate change, efforts to improve sustainability in business travel sector, and everyday changes to contribute to a cleaner planet including in three key areas: buildings, food and transportation. 
  • 5:00-6:00pm PT – JoeBen Bevirt, CEO, Joby Aviation will present advances in aerial ridesharing and potential implications for business travel and clean air travel. The session also features research insights and a panel discussion with senior corporate travel buyers who will share their views on industry-specific travel recovery, changing travel needs in an increasingly hybrid environment, and the latest demand for new technology and tools. 

GBTA hosts first-ever Sustainability Pavilion at Convention 

For four days at the Sustainability Pavilion, convention attendees can learn about sustainable initiatives and meet experts and exhibitors.  

  • The Pavilion will host engaging Green Talks and Roundtables on key sustainability topics for travel buyers and suppliers, featuring experts from GBTA’s Sustainability Leadership Council 
  • The Green Village area will feature businesses and non-profit exhibitors showcasing sustainability solutions  
  • No prior knowledge of sustainability is required – any convention attendee can visit the Pavilion, whether they’re just starting their sustainability journey or seeking specific solutions for their existing sustainable business travel programs and policies. 

The Pavilion will be centrally located in the Main GBTA Convention Foyer near attendee registration inside the San Diego Convention Center. The Pavilion will be open (Pacific Time):  Sunday, August 14, 2:00 PM – 4:45 PM; Monday, August 15, 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM; Tuesday, August 16, 2:00 PM – 4:45 PM; Wednesday, August 17, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. 

GBTA to unveil its new Sustainability Toolkit 

A big part of GBTA’s efforts in getting the industry to a greener future is providing business travel industry professionals with needed tools.  

  • GBTA will unveil its newly revamped Sustainability Toolkit, making Part A (Modules 1-3) available. These introductory modules will help users better understand sustainability, manage and improve environmental performance and offsetting emissions, and put tracking and reporting into place.  
  • The Toolkit rollout will continue in phases, with GBTA launching Modules 4-7 in September, and Modules 8-12 to members only on November 8 at its Sustainability Summit  in Brussels. 
  • Convention attendees can try out the Toolkit in the Green Lounge of the Sustainability Pavilion and learn more at the education session on Tuesday August 16 at 11:15am, Room 11AB: “Sustainability Toolkit Relaunch: A Practical Guide to Sustainability.” 

The toolkit is a collaborative effort driven by the GBTA Sustainability Committee, GBTA team, and public affairs consultancy, Grayling, with the support and high-level guidance of GBTA’s Sustainability Leadership Council 

Sustainability Pavilion offers education and expert insights

Attendees will hear from sustainability experts from across the business travel industry and beyond in the current programming line-up featuring 15-minute Green Talks and 30-minute Roundtables that will take place at the Green Stage in the Sustainability Pavilion during Convention 2022. The line-up includes:   

August 14
2:15 –
2:30pm PT
Achieving Sustainability Goals in Travel and Hospitality
Presented by Salesforce
Green Talk
3:15 –
3:30pm PT
Keys To Building a Credible Climate Strategy for Business Travel
Presented by ClimatePartner 
Green Talk
3:45 –
4:00pm PT 
Presented by SemaConnect Green Talk
August 15 
2:30 –
3:15pm PT 
 Aviation’s Flight Path to Net-Zero Future: What’s on the Horizon to Decarbonize 
Featuring leaders from Alaska Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines
3:30 –
3:45pm PT
Can Your Travel Program Support an End to Tropical Deforestation?
Presented by Emergent
Green Talk
4:00 –
4:15pm PT
The Value of Climate Action in Business Travel
Presented by South Pole
Green Talk
4:30 –
5:15pm PT 
Map Your Sustainability Journey: Real Life Data Example and Gaming Exercise 
Featuring leaders from Advito, Enterprise, Hertz, and Thrust Carbon
5:30 –
5:45pm PT 
Presented by Shell Green Talk
August 16 
2:00 –
2:15pm PT 
Emissions Calculations
Presented by Cirium
Green Talk
2:30 –
3:15pm PT 
Navigating Sustainability Standards in Lodging: How to Help Travelers Pick Greener Stays 
Featuring leaders from Hilton, HRS, and Marriott
3:30 –
4:15pm PT 
Offsetting: How to Get it Right? 
Featuring leaders from Emergent, Salesforce, South Pole, and Terrapass
4:30 –
4:45pm PT 
Three Steps to Sustainability
Presented by Thrust Carbon
Green Talk
Wednesday, August 17  
9:45 –
10am PT 
Presented by TerrapassGreen Talk

How attendees can go greener at GBTA Convention 2022  

Attendees can also help make their Convention experience more sustainable. Attendees who commit to reducing their emissions and waste during Convention by taking at least three actions below get a green digital ribbon added to their badge: 

  • Walk, bike, scooter, shuttle, or take a FRED  
  • Bring their own water bottle  
  • Separate their waste thoughtfully and use the correct bins at the Convention Center 
  • Take the GREEN GBTA quiz to learn about GBTA’s sustainability efforts at Convention 
  • Try an all-vegan or all-vegetarian meal during their San Diego trip 

GBTA has worked together with its suppliers, vendors, and partners to make Convention as sustainable as possible. Working with Thrust Carbon, for the first time ever GBTA will be calculating its emissions related to this annual event as a benchmark for ongoing progress.

Attendees can learn more about this initiative via the GREEN GBTA Quiz while at the event, and four winners will receive prizes, including free registrations to GBTA Convention 2023 and GBTA Sustainability Summit in Brussels (see below).  

GBTA is also facilitating donations to Cool Effect, a non-profit organization that is reducing carbon emissions, as part of the annual GBTA 5K Run/Walk. 

As a venue, the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) has an innovative, large-scale sustainability program, including center-to-table gardens, food donations, composted food waste, renewable energy resources, building efficiency, waste reduction, and recycling, among the other sustainability efforts. 

More about GBTA’s Sustainability Program 

Launched in late 2021, GBTA’s Sustainability Program supports initiatives related to climate action to build a greener future for business travel. Working in tandem with its members and the industry, GBTA’s focus includes policy and advocacy, measures and tracking, C-level engagement and public affairs, and education. 

  • The GBTA program is made possible through the support of the GBTA Founding Partners in Sustainability: Accor, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, BCD Travel, BWH Hotel Group Italia, Delta Air Lines, Enterprise Holdings, Hertz, Hilton, HRS, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, SAP Concur, Southwest Airlines, Reed & Mackay – a TripActions Company, and United Airlines.
  • In April 2022, GBTA released a comprehensive, landmark study – “The State of Sustainability in the Global Business Travel Sector” – providing data and analysis across travel suppliers, travel buyers, and policy and government stakeholders on the state of sustainability and actions for the business travel industry.
  • On November 8, 2022, GBTA will host its inaugural GBTA Sustainability Summit in Brussels, a one-day event where business travel industry and policy leaders will outline concrete solutions to decarbonize the sector in alignment with the Paris Climate Goals. 

For more information about the GBTA Sustainability Program, visit www.gbta.org/sustainability or email [email protected].