Sustainable Travel Isn’t Going Away

SAP Concur Team |

When you graduated from high school, you were determined to change the world. Well, the world is finally giving you a chance. 

You see, saving the planet isn’t simply a slogan anymore. It’s about actually saving the planet, and it isn’t something you can say you support, then just sort of ignore. Sustainability is a practice, not merely a philosophy; it’s here to stay, and it’s something every business needs to build into its practices in order to, well, be around for a while. 

When it comes to corporate travel, sustainability is finally taking off. Airlines are increasingly using sustainable aviation fuel. Travelers are clustering meetings, so they don’t have to make as many return trips. Businesses are crafting policies that make sustainable choices the easiest choices to make. (Like taking the train from Berlin to Bonn instead of flying.) And as you rebuild your travel program, it’s time to build in sustainability and finally make good on your high-school pledge. 

You’re in the spotlight

Travel has been essentially grounded for about 18 months (give or take what seems like years), and it’s given companies ample time to rethink their programs. Now, as business takes to the road, rails, and skies again, the C-suite has you in its sights. They want you to re-establish corporate travel, because it’s critical to regaining confidence and rebuilding momentum across the business. 

So, all eyes are on you to get travelers back out there, to keep them safe, to make your program more efficient, to make expenses easier to track and manage, and to ensure that your company isn’t sticking its carbon footprint in its mouth. 

All while changing how everything gets done. 

How do you get there? 

According to the eBook Five Ways to Build Sustainability into Your Travel Program published by SAP Concur, you want to start with your suppliers. If they’re embracing earth-friendly practices, it’s easier for you to enforce the same. Because when traveler’s choices are weighted with eco-conscious airlines, hotels, etc., picking them becomes the default position. 

The right suppliers make it easier to make the right choice, in other words. 

It’s also important to guide your travelers throughout the booking experience. Sustainable travel isn’t something they’re going to learn overnight, but you can continue to reinforce earth- and often money-saving behaviors in several simple ways:

•    Show travelers when taking the train is better than taking the plane. 
•    Make it easy to see which rental car has the top emissions ratings. 
•    Highlight which hotels go farther with their eco-practices than planting a few trees here and there. 

Be sure to track your overall progress and results, then show travelers how their choices make a real difference to both your company and the planet. 

In the end, it comes down to the fact that getting from Point A to Point B isn’t what it used to be. As companies, we’re going to have to sharpen our focus even further on traveler safety and confidence, and we’re going to have to do so more efficiently than ever – while providing travelers an elevated level of convenience. 

It’s not going to be easy, but it won’t be impossible. Read the eBook to find out how businesses are reconstructing travel programs to not only get business moving again, but to keep it going and push it forward faster – and how they wring sustainability out of every dollar, yen, and euro spent on travel. 

No, sustainable travel isn’t going away. So let’s get going. 

This article is written by Mike Barry Strategic Advisor speaker and commentator on Sustainable Business The world is still emerging from the crippling health and economic crisis foll...
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