It is a topic that’s never too far from the front pages and a perennial subject of fierce debates, arguments and protests around the world; the world we live in and the impact we’re having on it is something that cannot be ignored. Millions of miles travelled by land, sea and air every year means we are putting incredible strain on our environment, whether we like it or not. With business travel such an important part of working life, it’s vital that we take steps to make our corporate trips more eco-friendly – Drum Cussac’s, a GardaWorld company, green travel tips will detail some of the ways we can reduce corporate travel’s carbon footprint.
Taxis and Ride Sharing
Whether it’s from the airport to the hotel, or from the hotel to a meeting, consider opting for the ride-sharing features that most taxi apps offer. UberPool is perhaps the most widely-known ridesharing function, but Lyft offers a ‘Shared Ride’ feature which pairs up riders with others going in the same direction. Of course, sharing a ride is not always possible, but consider trying it if there’s one or two people needing to travel who don’t mind sharing with others.
Combine trips where feasible – if it’s possible to get everyone in the same vehicle, then opting for individual cars is just increasing your carbon footprint for no real reason.
For domestic business trips or trips where alternative transport methods are feasible, travelling by train is the greener option. Of course, train journeys take considerably longer than flights, but the CO2 emissions are drastically lower than those of air travel – a domestic train emits 41g of CO2 per passenger per km travelled, whereas a domestic flight emits 133g. One other potential benefit of a longer train journey is the chance to carry out extra work during the commute, or relax for a little longer than possible on a plane. Train travel also removes the need to arrive hours before departure, unlike air travel.
Stay in Green Hotels
One of the many significant upshots of the increasing awareness of our impact on the environment is the rise of ‘green’ hotels. These locations make use of a range of sustainable techniques and features, from solar panels to green roofs and low-flow toilets, sinks and showers. More and more of these hotels are springing up around the world, and just because they’re cutting back on pollutants, it doesn’t mean they’re cutting down on quality. If location and budget allows, consider booking into one of these ‘green’ hotels.
Look for LEED-certified hotels; these are buildings built with sustainability in mind – they can be found across 31 countries in Europe, Asia and North and South America.
Every year, worldwide airlines fly around 4.5 billion passengers across 45 million flights. It would be unrealistic to suggest that corporate travel should take place on emission-free transportation, but corporate air travel can be approached in a way that reduces our impact on the environment. For example, business class air travel is thought to produce around three times as much emissions as economy class; by forgoing some of the luxuries of business class and opting for economy on biofuel-using airlines, companies can fly greener. Airlines around the world are investing in biofuels, including:
Research by NASA has shown that if airlines were to only use 50% aviation biofuel mixtures, air pollution from flights would be cut by 50-70%.
If multiple corporate trips are needed, arrange for them to take place in quick succession, and consider booking back-to-back flights instead of returning home for a day or two and then flying again.
For longer trips where rental cars are required, opt for hybrids. Industry giants Europcar and Hertz are building their green car rental services, with electric cars slated for arrival in the near future. There are several eco-friendly models that don’t require you to break the bank: the Toyota Prius, the Volkswagen Jetta, the Kia Niro and the Hyundai Ioniq, to name a few. In the UK, Green Motion offers a dedicated eco-friendly car rental service.
It is up to us to reduce our carbon footprint, and eco-friendly travel will serve as a significant contributor towards helping to slow the onset of climate change. Whether using a green hotel or not, travelling by rail or air, let Drum Cussac a GardaWorld company ensure businesses can fulfil their duty of care to employees when working away. People tracking, two-way communication and more means you can keep your employees safe at all times. Get in touch with us today to see how we can change your business travel.