Sustainable business practices can have major benefits for your business, products, team and community as well as protect natural resources, reduce CO2 emissions and make a positive impact with eco-friendly measures.
Many companies are aware of their impact on the environment and are working towards addressing sustainability issues within the workplace. However, businesses often need to manage between efficiency, profitability and market competitiveness. Needless to say that it is important that a company improves its sustainable development without being affected financially.
Ultimately, a business needs to work towards a sustainability programme that would run throughout the organisation.
When talking about sustainability in the workplace, business travel can often have a big impact on the environment. Company employees may need to travel regularly for business meetings, which can be local or further, as many corporations are now global.
A sustainable travel programme can be quick to implement and have a positive impact without impeding how your business operates. Frequently, a sustainable travel programme can save money for the company improving their profit as well.
With sustainable travel, the goal is to reduce or negate the harming of natural environments and cultural heritage.
Generally, problems related to sustainable travel are more common in the tourism field. This is to do with the fact that, over-tourism and how people travel, can negatively impact local culture and host communities. For this reason, some travel companies have been looking into more positive incentives such as sustainable destinations.
Nonetheless, even if your company is not in the tourism industry, there are still challenges involved. Often, the frequency of work travel and how is done is a huge challenge. Usually, companies tend to pick the most convenient and fastest method for commuting, negating public transport options.
When looking into your company’s travel strategy, there are important measures that you can implement to make a difference and improve your business’s sustainability.
How we travel can have significant effects on the environment. Thus, to improve your company’s travel sustainability it is important to evaluate your travel culture and if it is the right one.
Often company’s employees tend to travel by air which, unfortunately, is the one with the most carbon emissions. Therefore, to reduce your business’s carbon footprint you should look into:
Is it necessary?
The first thing you should have in consideration is how important is for the employee to travel. For example, if you are organising a business meeting could it be online? Do that many people have to be there?
Reducing the need for travelling will help you decrease carbon emissions and the use of natural resources thus, improving your company’s travel sustainability.
Do you need that many layovers?
When choosing how your flights are, generally more layovers mean more use of natural resources and carbon emissions due to a bigger quantity of take-offs and landings. Hence, your company should consider direct flights instead. Also, in the subject of accommodation, with more stops comes a need for more bookings which increases the use of natural resources and may end up being more expensive.
Does it have to be by plane?
If the travel distance is short, you should consider another transportation type besides by air. For example, using public transportation, such as rail travel, can be cheaper and more sustainable. As well as save time since the employee won’t have to be at the hours in advance in the rail station. Travelling by land can also increase productivity given that it is easier to have access to the internet, phone service and electricity during the travel itself.
To improve your company’s travel sustainability it is critical to educate your employees. There are extra steps that they may be able to do during their business travels.
For example, one thing to take into consideration is the type of car they hire. Choosing a hybrid or electric vehicle can make a considerable difference in your organisation’s carbon footprint. Also, selecting sustainable hotels that have a good record with their environmental policies, will improve your company’s sustainability.
Establishing a sustainable travel programme will help both the environment and your business.
More Time, More Productivity
With less time spent travelling comes an increase in productivity. So, you should always ensure that the travel is necessary and efficient.
When choosing public transportation, for example, rail travel, there’s a higher probability that would be cheaper allowing your business to save money while being more sustainable.
Reduce of Company’s Carbon Footprint
Not only helps the environment but your company’s image as well. Environment headlines have been trending during the last years thus, helping your marketing department as well.
The Feeling of Making a Difference
Naturally, everyone likes the feeling of making a good impact in the world. Therefore, working for an employer that has adopted a sustainability programme can strengthen employees’ satisfaction in the workplace.
For more information on Sustainability in the Workplace: