Did you know in 2013, flights alone produced 705 million tonnes of carbon emission?
This number is set to increase as more travel routes and options are being opened and as the economy picks up. Since we cannot completely eliminate travelling altogether, how can corporations reduce their carbon footprint in this world?
Pick Greener Choices..
There are several aeroplane, trains and car models that are more fuel-efficient. Take your time to familiarize yourself with ‘green’ brands and products.
One way to tell if your hotel is ‘green’, is to look out for LEED-certification. This is an industry benchmark to indicate that a property or its operations and maintenance methods are classified environmentally friendly. E.g. Hyatt, Best Western, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Marriott, IHG, Starwood, Kimpton, Hilton have properties with recognized environmental efforts.
Most commercial aircrafts are either a Boeing or an Airbus model. Both manufacturers have built several energy-efficient airplanes and this is the direction where they are heading towards. IATA is working in partnership with ASTM to certify aircraft using bio-fuel. The current airlines that aim to use bio-fuel or bio-fuel mix instead of petroleum include Lufthansa, Finnair, United, Qantas, KLM and Hainan Airlines.
It is also worthwhile to note that fuel consumption varies on aircraft speed, weight load and other factors etc. Hence sitting in a first or business class seat would mean that you would leave a larger carbon footprint than sitting in an economy class seat. This is not to discourage anyone in paying for a premium seat but a point to put across that weight load affects fuel consumption on an aircraft.
Mileage Reporting and Carbon Offsetting
After selecting the mode of travel that has the least impact to the environment, you can start recording your traveller’s journey – this is known as Mileage Reporting. In most countries like the European Union, United States of America, Japan and Commonwealth countries, a business can make a carbon offset purchase - a scheme that allows companies to invest in environmental projects in order to even out their own carbon footprints.
The business’s entire carbon emission annually can be calculated and the company may match dollar per carbon emission to contribute to activities such as planting trees, financing renewable annual projects.
Making your business travel habits more earth-friendly can actually count as part of your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Since CSR traditionally aims to encourage positive impact on the environment and communities, this helps your company earn positive rapport with stakeholders and attract potential investors.
At the end of the day, by conserving the environment you are playing your part for future generations to come.