Applying Lessons from Greta Thunberg to Business Travel Emissions

It’s hard to think of anyone more serious about protecting the planet today than Greta Thunberg. Just one look at the young activist’s face as she passionately urges us to “act as if your house is on fire” is enough to know that when it comes to the environment, Greta means business.

Thunberg doesn’t just talk the carbon-emissions talk; she walks the walk as well. From her fully vegan diet to her refusal to fly and instead sail to international events, Thunberg’s commitment to the environment is total. While her example can’t be directly applied to businesses, her actions and message should inspire us all to rethink business travel habits.


Change starts with awareness

Sweeping change doesn’t happen on a whim or overnight in business. More often than not, a strong first step to implement organizational change is to get good data that will allow you weigh the pros and cons, and then argue for alternative solutions.

That’s where intelligent spend management solutions like Concur Travel can help. Recently, we added an environmental element our travel and expense management tool by including CO2 emissions (in either pounds or kilograms) for any given flight. Where available, hybrid cars can be displayed as well.

By providing this data, travelers are armed with information that they can use to assess whether a trip is worth the environmental cost. And much better equipped to discuss alternatives to business travel. For companies interested in travel options, Concur Travel can be configured to show teleconferencing and other options.

Additionally, green-minded companies can use data from Concur Travel to implement policies and sustainability standards that will push their employees to make environmentally friendly choices. Through Concur Travel, administrators can apply company policies, indicate company preferences, and insert messaging that will direct travelers to make green choices.


Consumers demand environmentalism 

Implementing environmentally friendly practices and policies isn’t just good for the planet. More and more, consumers favor companies that take environmentalism seriously. According to a recent study, 81% of global respondents feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment.

As pressure from consumers for green practices increases, companies must demonstrate a commitment to both profits and the planet. Through SAP Concur, organizations can deliver this by carefully tracking travel, using emissions estimates to inform policy and secure carbon offsets, and finding creative solutions to reduce environmental impact.

It’s time to act

Travel will always be a business reality. And the value of meeting in person versus video conferencing or a phone call is well understood. That said, we’re at a critical moment in time for reducing carbon emissions. So, it’s crucial that everyone do what they can, when they can, to limit their carbon footprint.

For global organizations that need to compete in a fast-paced, interconnected marketplace, it’s difficult to know what to give up and how best to do it. By giving business access to environmental data in Concur Travel, our goal is to raise awareness around environmental issues and provide organizations with tools that can help them to make choices that are good for business and good for the planet.

Loading next article