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COP27 may be over but our responsibility continues

November 24, 2022


By Emma Forrest
Global Sustainability Project Manager

COP27, a key event in the environmental calendar, drew to a close at the end of last week.  It brought together global leaders, climate groups, and activists to create a collective and collaborative response to the climate crisis. 

Whilst the conference closed with mixed reviews, it does offer us the chance to reflect on where we are and where we need to go. The challenges that face us are here and now. Gone are the days where discussions focus only on future impacts and generations. Around the world we’re seeing more extreme and unpredictable weather, an uptick in average temperatures and a change in the Earth’s natural rhythms and cycles (to name just a few impacts).

Referring to a landmark decision to operationalize a loss and damage fund while speaking more broadly about next steps, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that more needs to be done to drastically reduce emissions, “The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition.”

“The red line we must not cross is the line that takes our planet over the 1.5-degree temperature limit,” he continued. At CWT, we recognize the importance of COP27 in responding to the urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the role we can play in the transition to a low carbon world. Businesses play a crucial part in reducing emissions worldwide and ultimately, without the cooperation of the corporate world, global goals will not be met.

We want to take this post-COP opportunity to reiterate our public commitment to Science-Based Targets (SBTs); a commitment we made public in 2021. Setting robust targets for our operations is a vital lever in getting CWT to Net Zero and keeping our emissions aligned with the 1.5-degree global warming scenario, which is where we need to be.

We’re currently working towards developing those targets and having them validated by the UN Science-Based Targets initiative; giving us a firm foundation through which to activate our carbon reduction plan across all parts of the business.

Going beyond our operations, we can make our impact go further and are a key player in supporting our clients in their efforts to reduce their own carbon emissions. 

In our role as a travel management and events platform, we connect people around the world. We have a responsibility to drive change among our clients – empowering them to make positive choices at every stage of their journey. 

We surveyed our customers a few months ago and two in every three said sustainability goals have become more important since the pandemic. One of the top priorities for many companies today is to have carbon emission data and other sustainability information available at the time of booking to help their travelers make more informed choices. In March this year we partnered with Thrust Carbon to add point-of-booking carbon emission indicators in the mobile and web channels of our myCWT platform.

At the same time, companies want robust sustainability analytics and reporting to better understand how much travel contributes to their overall carbon footprint, identify the actions they can take to improve, and track progress towards their sustainability targets. CWT has offered sustainability analytics for over a decade, and we continue to innovate in this space. For example, we help deliver goal tracking and predictive analytics modeling to our clients around their travel volumes and carbon footprint. And in July this year, we enhanced our CO2 reporting capabilities with new Carbon Emission Summary dashboards.

“One of the things that we encourage customers to think about,” Richard Johnson, CWT’s Senior Director Solutions Group recently told BTN TV is sustainability in terms of how it needs to be balanced to ensure the long-term fitness for purpose of your program. It’s the environmental piece (the climate), and it needs to have a positive impact on traveling employees and meet financial objectives. If you can achieve those three things, that’s what makes a program truly sustainable.”

Of course, to succeed, sustainability initiatives must occur at a macro company level as well micro or personal level.

Here are some tips on how to travel with sustainability at front of mind:

  • Opt for public transport wherever possible.
  • If flying can’t be avoided, select a direct journey where you can – takeoffs and landings are the most fuel intensive part of a flight.
  • Select accommodation near to your event to cut down on travel between venues.
  • Use digital hotel confirmations, tickets, and itineraries.
  • Research the sustainability credentials of your airline or hotel.


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