Why Taking a Sustainable Approach to Business Travel & Meetings Works!

Sustainability in Action…

In this second blog post of my new sustainability series, I explain why following a responsible approach to a sustainable travel and meetings program is good for business. If you missed my first post on what sustainability is and why does it matter, read it here.

The word ‘sustainability’ is used a great deal in business today. It is important to know how it applies to the buying of business travel and meetings, what the benefits are and the reasons why you should get involved.

Let me explain!

Sustainability is a way of doing business that respects and balances the needs of the people we relate with, the environment in which we operate and the cost of doing business. In other words, balancing the 3Ps – PEOPLE, PLANET and PROFIT.

Ignoring just one of these components will ultimately damage all three, which is why we say your business needs to be in balance to maximize performance. Nor is this a short term ‘project’ or ‘solution’; success only comes from a change in behavior and a continuous program.


‘Maintaining a healthy balance and ‘living within our means’

Why a Company Should Take Action?

There are a number of very good reasons why buyers of business travel and meetings should take action!

  • Countries are starting to introduce laws that force companies to address climate change.
  • This is a real profit and loss issue
  • Reputational risk/damage from ignoring some of these issues could be immense.
  • Social, environment and economic issues are driving people’s behaviors.
  • Globally, we all need to do more with less.

Why I Should Do This?

Including sustainable thinking into your travel program, or sales of products and services, has been proven to deliver many benefits to you and your company.

Based on ICARUS case studies, it is very clear to us that if you take a sustainable approach to managing your business travel program, your organization will make significant cost savings and ALSO benefit from meeting corporate sustainability goals.

In addition, it allows you to address many corporate risk management issues, comply with the increasing number of government regulations and retain productive staff

Key Business Travel & Meetings Best Practices

A number of standard business practices are brought together to deliver a sustainable performance:

  • ‘SMART’ Choices – Managing demand and use of lower carbon options.
  • Internal Programs – E.g. community outreach, social investments, collaborations with social organizations and NGOs/volunteers.
  • Employee Engagement – Duty of care – including travel security, safety and traveler well-being.
  • “Greening” Your Business Travel pPogram – E.g. Measuring/reducing the carbon footprint, setting reduction targets, and purchasing carbon offsets for business travel-related activities.
  • Environmental Supply Chain Sourcing – Criteria for including sustainability in selecting suppliers.
  • Creating Goals, Measurement and Reporting – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
  • Communication – Communicate and engage with stakeholders – internally and externally.

Sample Case Study: Quote from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) – One of the world’s leading professional services organizations

“The travel team at PwC UK have worked hard to support the firm’s global sustainability initiatives. We are particularly proud of the communication program, the support and effort from our Travel Champions and the commitment of our travellers. We aim to develop further new initiatives as we continue to improve our drive to greater sustainability in business travel and meetings” said Mark Avery, Global Business Services & Travel Leader.

  • 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions versus baseline for non-client travel
  • 7 million Euros in costs avoided in a 3 year period
  • 60 business units and 4,000 attendees continually involved in ‘Wellness Day’ regional programs


Resource Tip: Useful reading – *GREEN TO GOLD  –  Esty & Winston
How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage

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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