Businesses spend $230 billion on travel. Traveling to customers and key suppliers is good business, but the challenge is how to travel and reduce your environmental footprint. Here are four green travel best practices:
The hotel industry is going green. 68 percent of hotels are using high efficiency LED lights and the industry has seen a 34 percent increase in recycling. The hotel industry created a consortium of major players actively working on the greening of their supply chain. From these efforts, eco-labels are now being awarded to greener hotels. A travel industry manager best practice is to identify greener hotel options within their approved hotel list and promote them to business travelers, empowering them to make greener decisions.
The tools for measuring corporate travel emissions are growing in number and sophistication. Crunching the numbers on corporate travel emissions moves decision making from “doing good” to acting upon business best practices. A best practice is to focus upon “hot spots” of higher intensity travel patterns in search of paths for reducing emissions without reducing travel’s business benefits. One example is to identify the airplanes with more modern engines that use less fuel and generate lower emissions per flight. Choosing the more efficient equipment can reduce emissions as much as 30-40 percent compared to less energy efficient equipment.
If you measure it, then report it. Do so in a positive manner recognizing those business travelers who are making choices in support of the company’s sustainability goals. Push the reports upstream to key managers in operations and finance. These managers are always searching for meaningful analytics that show performance results linked to corporate goals.
Choose green meeting venues
There is a growing number of choices in green meeting locations. Look for locations that offer these sustainability features:
- A reuse/recycling program
- Location near a light-rail station that offers a green alternative to cabs or a rental car
- Alternatives to the use of bottled water
- Comfortable room temperatures using energy efficient technologies and, ideally, renewable energy
- Sharing food leftovers with creditable social agencies and composting for food waste
- A post-event performance report that documents emissions and environmental footprint performance results
More money-saving and emission-reducing business travel best practices
Watch the following exclusive interview with Leilani Latimer, Senior Director of Global Sustainability Initiatives for Sabre Holdings, conducted at Sustainable Brands 2012 to learn additional proven travel best practices being used by travel managers and the hotel industry:
Bill Roth is the Founder of The Secret Green Sauce and green business expert” target=”_blank”>Earth 2017 and a green business coach. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles case studies of businesses making money going green. View more of his video interviews with business leaders pioneering sustainable best practices at Earth2017TV