A company’s approach to corporate social responsibility links closely to the way it is perceived by others. Because of this, it has become increasingly important to implement sustainability procedures and policies within a business environment so as to project a good corporate image.
The sustainability of business travel is just one of the questions that are increasingly on the tip of everyone’s tongue as business men and women commute to and from meetings with the purpose of forging strong business relationships.
Do you and your company engage in any of the following practices that help to make your business travel sustainable?
If flying can be avoided by taking an alternative means of transport, then do it. However, if it is necessary then ensure that you maximise the effectiveness of your trip by booking a direct flight and only taking a carry-on bag with you.
A more direct route means fewer take-offs, landings, and taxiing of an aeroplane which reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions made on your journey.
Additionally, it also saves you travel time and reduces fatigue from long stopovers.
Schedule as many of your business meetings as possible into the one trip so that you do not need to book a second flight to return to the same part of the country in the foreseeable future.
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Where possible, use public or alternative transport systems such as a rideshare when you are commuting around town.
Public transport systems such as railway have their own dedicated transport route which results in less traffic congestion and consequent delays. Not only will you get to your meeting on time but you will also avoid the stress of having to find parking in a congested city centre.
Additionally, the large number of bus and railway stops means that you are only ever a few hundred metres away from your collection or drop off point.
If you are travelling through a smaller town where the public transport networks are not quite as extensive then ride-sharing is a great way to get around whilst reducing your carbon emissions. Find out where your colleagues are going for their meetings and where possible, drive or share a cab with them.
If you have to hire a car for your business travel then try to reserve one that is fuel efficient, hybrid, or even electrical if your destination supports it. These eco-friendly cars have less of an impact on the environment which ensures their long-term sustainability.
There are also a lot of hybrid cars and low CO2 emissions cars for you to choose from. This can be seen even with taxi companies like Uber coming out with Uber Green – their sustainable transport option.
Alternatively, you can also try car sharing.
Being mindful of your impact on the environment when travelling should also be considered from a holistic perspective as the sustainability of your business travel is not measured solely by your mode of travel.
Ensure that you book a hotel which has some sort of version of a green scorecard system in place which is indicative of a low environmental impact.
Simple practices such as asking for a glass of tap water instead of buying bottled plastic water can also reduce your impact.
Similarly, if your meetings are running late then avoid ordering takeaway meals that are heavily packaged in plastic and eat in the dining room or order room service instead.
By ensuring that you adhere to sustainable business travel practices, you not only build up your own sense of accomplishment but also see to the continual building of sound business relationships that are essential to the economy.
A lifelong interest in writing and travel combined with a desire to better understand the human experience led Megan to pursue a BA in English and Anthropology. You can find her putting words into practice on all things travel related.