The Journey | GBTA Foundation Newsletter – January 2024

Hi everyone and welcome to 2024!

The GBTA Foundation team is excited to bring this news bulletin to you, to keep you abreast of our milestones and progress on a shared journey with the global business travel industry to drive positive impact on our people and planet.

We called it ‘The Journey’ because we are still calibrating our actions, learning, and adapting along the way. The stakes are higher than ever when we look at the workforce, social and environmental challenges we are currently facing in our industry. The level of transformation our sector will go through to continue to thrive, deliver high quality jobs while transitioning to sustainable practices, is unprecedented.

A critical success factor will be *radical collaboration* (a term you will hear a lot about this year, including from our emerging industry leaders participating in the GBTA Ladders program). This underpins all our work with the GBTA Foundation, where we work pre-competitively and in close partnership with industry partners, governments, experts and other like-minded, non-profit organizations to shape a sustainable future for global business travel.

Looking at our major projects for 2024, here are three milestones to look forward to as we kickstart the new year:

  • Removing barriers to accessibility: while about 40% of business travelers identify as having accessibility requirements (Accessio 2022), these needs have been under- addressed. This Spring, the GBTA Foundation, in collaboration with experts and practitioners, will be releasing industry and best practice standards to expand accessible business travel programs.
  • Setting standards for responsible procurement: it took months of work to rally our industry behind global, industry-wide, sustainable procurement standards to evaluate the environmental and social performance of travel suppliers. This effort will come to fruition with the release this year of new sustainability criteria for accommodation, air and ground transport procurement.
  • Accelerating change for sustainable travel: building on all the resources developed so far, the GBTA Foundation will launch a new initiative to incentivize action and build momentum by tracking the business travel industry’s progress. We are continuously looking at expanding our work and scaling our impact – and this has been made possible thanks to our generous donors, partners, passionate leaders, and dedicated volunteers.

We are incredibly grateful for this support and look forward to another amazing step into our journey this year.

Happy Reading!


Delphine Millot
Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Managing Director
GBTA Foundation

3 things you should know about the GBTA Foundation

  1. The GBTA Foundation is the non-profit, cause-led arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The Foundation was fully re-launched in July 2022, and is an IRS designated 501(c)3 legal entity that operates separately from, but under the auspices of, the 501(c)6 trade association. Meet our Foundation Board of Directors.
  2. We organize the Foundation’s activities and programs into its two main pillars of influence and impact: PEOPLE and PLANET. Under the PEOPLE pillar is where we house mentoring and other professional development programs such as WINiT and Ladders. Under the PLANET pillar lives the Sustainability Initiative, and all activities related to building a greener future for business travel.
  3. The Foundation reports its progress in periodic downloadable Reports, including key statistics and metrics on the impact and reach of each program. Click here to read our 2022-2023 progress report.

News In Brief – Latest Program Updates


Upcoming Accessibility Guide for the Industry Accessibility
Accessibility is an under-addressed issue in business travel. Stay tuned, as the GBTA Foundation will be releasing a new Accessibility Toolkit for Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 18.

Cultivating and Growing Emerging Industry Leaders:GBTA Ladders Kicks Off Season 10
Our theme is Coming Together: Shaping the future of travel through radical collaborations and partnerships. What is radical collaboration? It can be competitors coming together to solve a challenging issue for the industry, or it can be unlikely partnerships that come together to share resources and knowledge. It always involves breaking down traditional boundaries to go beyond traditional collaborative efforts to foster innovation The search is on for over 180 Ladders participants in this year’s season that culminates at the Ladders Summit on May 21- 23 in Chicago. Find out more.

Helping Women Advance in Their Careers
The WINiT Community Expands Globally This quarter, WINiT will be formalizing the expansion of the network outside the U.S. to form the first EMEA Chapter, followed by activation events and new chapters in Canada, Latin America and APAC. Central to the WINiT program is the 1:1 Mentoring opportunities offered to the industry community. WINiT kicked off its third cohort this January which connects mentees from around the globe to industry veterans. Whether you are new to the workforce or a mid-career professional, mentorship provides guidance, support, and resources for personal and professional growth. Learn more.


GBTA Commits to Launch Sustainable Procurement Criteria as part of White House Announcement
Last month, GBTA and the GBTA Foundation took part in the Biden Administration’s announcement unveiling new commitments to boost access to electric vehicles (EVs), which will save taxpayer dollars and tackle the climate crisis. The announcement also revealed new Federal employee travel guidelines on sustainable transportation use, including our commitment to release Sustainable Procurement Criteria in 2024. Read more.

Firsthand Insights from COP28
What does COP28 mean for business travel? Every year, there’s a lot of buzz around COP (which stands for “Conference of the Parties” to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as UNFCCC). Check out our podcast and blog post where Managing Director of the GBTA Foundation, Delphine Millot, reflects on her time in Dubai.

GBTA Foundation Reports Progress Under its Commitment to the Glasgow Declaration
In October 2022, the GBTA Foundation became a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. As a supporting partner, our commitment is to champion climate action in business travel, through capacity building, industry alignment, and advocacy. At the end of last year, we released our action plan to drive impact based on the 5 pillars of the Glasgow Declaration: Measure, Decarbonize, Regenerate, Collaborate, and Finance. Responsible meetings & events: GTSC MICE Criteria to be released soon The GBTA Foundation worked closely with our Sustainability and Meetings & Events Committees to contribute to the development of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GTSC) MICE Criteria, which serves as the universal foundation for sustainability standards in travel and tourism. The criteria, which will underpin sustainable certification of Venues, Event Organizers and Events/Exhibitions, are expected to be released in Q1.

→ Resources

What We’re Reading – Latest Headlines to Catch Our Eye

For Your Files – Latest Resources and Reports

For Your Playlist – Entertainment While Learning

Save The Date

GBTA Ladders Season 10 Summit and Celebration 2024
May 21 – 23 | Chicago, IL

The GBTA Ladders season culminates at the three-day Summit, bringing together all program pillars: professional development, global networking across verticals, and innovative presentations on the season theme.

Leadership Spotlight  

Lauren Riley, Chief Sustainability Officer and Managing Director, Global Environmental Affairs at United Airlines, is the Chair of the GBTA Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC).

The council is set up as an advisory body to the GBTA Foundation, actively guiding and shaping efforts for a greener future in business travel. Council members, nominated by their companies for a one-year term, leverage their deep sustainability experience to define priority areas, elevate industry standards, and identify significant contributions to climate action and corporate responsibility.

Lauren shares why United decided to join the GBTA sustainability initiative and her insights on what is needed to build a greener future for business travel.

“Today, it’s really about the Journey, whether it’s where you stay, how you fly, and the ground transportation that you use […] We need to elevate the conversation to make sure we talk about the entire travel Journey” Watch the full interview.