Going Green with Your Travel Program, Part 3

In part I and part II of our three-part series we discussed specific greener travel and carbon offsetting options to decrease your travel program’s ecological footprint. In today’s post, we talk about what actions other organizations are taking to enhance their corporate social responsibility. Read on…

Corporate social responsibility

Corporations are becoming increasingly aware of climate change and their environmental footprint. Through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, organizations are taking their environmental impact into their own hands not only to address climate change, but also to realize cost savings. According to Elizabeth Baer from Conservation International, "being a good global citizen is smart business sense! Although it sometimes requires upfront investment, in many cases, businesses can achieve cost savings over the long term when they implement sustainability measures. Cutting energy use, reducing travel miles, increasing recycling, and other initiatives can save companies money and improve their standing in the eyes of consumers."

For example, Marriott Hotels has recognized that travelers are becoming increasingly concerned with their carbon footprint. This has led the hotel chain to implement energy-saving strategies, including reducing fuel and water consumption by 25 percent over 10 years, installing solar panels on 40 hotels by 2017 and increasing adoption of green standards in new buildings. They have also made a $2 million donation to The Juma Sustainable Development Reserve to preserve the Amazon Rainforest, among other activities.

How technology can help with your green initiatives

Today’s corporate travel booking tools integrate carbon monitoring right into the booking process, enabling clients to book air travel, car and hotel accommodations based on estimated carbon emissions from each leg of a business trip. Business travelers can also select low emission car rental reservations when listings are available. For companies that have selected specific hotels based on their green initiatives and environmentally-sustainable practices, travelers can be alerted to these suppliers during the booking process, helping to drive environmentally sound decisions that are in line with corporate policies. By capturing each travel choice online through an integrated travel and expense management process, companies can use that additional insight to measure the impact of their employees business travel, and can use the data gathered to improve environmentally sustainable practices.

What kinds of green initiatives is your organization taking part in?

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