When you travel for business do you ever stop to think about how your trip has affected the environment?
Perhaps you’ve flown business class across continents and are now enjoying an extended stay in corporate housing, whilst considering how to travel to your meeting the next day. Are you concerned as to just how green you are being?
Modern technology has made business travel less vital as face to face meeting can now be conducted screen to screen. However, this hasn’t stopped the number of people travelling for business each year increasing.
Nothing can replace face to face meetings, it’s good business to know who you are working with. We spend enough of our time staring at a flickering screen and human contact and interaction are vital to our own personal health.
In this day and age, these thoughts do cross most of our minds as we are faced with a potential world environmental crisis. Thoughts of climate change are unavoidable. But if we are travelling on someone else’s expectations and using someone else’s money, is there much we can do? Is is possible to be a sustainable business traveller? If so, how?
In 2018, all companies should have a green policy. If yours hasn’t, try to be a champion for one, especially if you personally rack up a lot of business miles.
Sustainability should be the keyword for any company travel policy and the policy should also ensure that suppliers are in line too. Even going as far as providing carbon emissions reports.
Ask travel agents for their green policy statements and ensure you choose airlines by their efficiency, rather than their business class seat size.
If you have multiple suppliers or clients in one particular area and a multitude of meetings to organise, why not try to combine them all in one single trip?
Employees should also be encouraged to tag leisure breaks onto the end of business trips. That way they are lessening the amount of flights or other transportation they are taking in a year. They might end up somewhere they wouldn’t have previously considered for a holiday and the company is paying for their travel!
If travelling domestically or across Europe, consider using trains. The least energy efficient way to travel is on a short flight. Travelling on a plane from London to Paris uses over 90% more carbon that the Eurostar train.
When travelling about from meeting to meeting in a city use public transport, or walk if you can. Getting a taxi for short journeys is again, not sustainable.
Do As You Would at Home
In the UK, we are all now totally bought into the idea of reusable shopping bags. The thought of using plastic shopping bags fills us with horror. So why not carry on that policy when you travel on business? Take a shopping bag with you and ensure that you use it for all of your purchases. When you do make purchases, ensure that they have been produced or manufactured locally and ethically.
Hopefully most people are also now on board with just how bad bottled water is for the environment. If you are going to a country where the drinking water is safe, or filtered versions of it are safe, then drink it. Don’t buy plastic bottles full of water that have been shipped thousands of miles.
Book Sustainable Accommodation
Every company is making sustainability commitments so it’s easier to find green accommodation.
Hotels are usually the first port of call for business travellers and there are some hotels who are making a big commitment towards the environment. Some are even self sustaining, installing renewable energy such as heat pumps, wind turbines and solar energy.
However, given the amount of people who stay in them, it’s always going to be difficult to justify staying in a hotel if we truly want our business travel to be sustainable.
Think of the amount of sheets that hotels have to wash every day, the number of towels and the number of dishes too. Hotels need to be cleaned with detergents and think of the amount of wash products people get through.
There is also a huge amount of food produced and an equally huge amount wasted.
Instead of hunting around for a green hotel group why not consider corporate lodging in a serviced apartment? Apartments from thesqua.re are located where the action is in a city, so your work and leisure environments are always within walking distance.
The service aspect is also kept to a minimum as your apartment will need cleaning less often than a hotel room, and the size of it compared to an entire hotel is far smaller too.
From your point of view, why would you want to spend your trip cooped up in a hotel room, when you can Iive a bit more luxuriously (and greenly) in a serviced apartment?