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Green Shoots: 3 sustainable travel trends

August 06, 2021


By Emma Woodhouse
Global Corporate Communications, CWT

The ripples of impact from the pandemic will manifest in fundamental changes to how we travel, work and approach life for decades to come. A focus on sustainability was already in full swing pre-COVID but has moved to the top of the agenda for traveling employees and companies and organizations alike.

Here are three evolving areas - large and small -  that are becoming increasingly important to eco-conscious business travelers.  

1. Greener travel policiesorganizations

Research suggests the pandemic has made consumers more eco-conscious,” said Niklas Andreen, CWT’s President and COO, “companies who want to meet the expectations of their customers and employees will need to step up their efforts to make their businesses and business travel policies greener.”

Organizations are keen to use this period of low volumes in business travel to make their travel programs more eco-friendly, and CWT is supporting them with this in a number of ways.  Last year, we introduced our ECO responsible travel consulting framework. ECO is short for Employee Wellbeing, Climate Impact and Organizational Performance, and the framework is designed to help companies fulfill these different priorities. The end-to-end consulting program covers five areas – strategic assessment, travel policy reviews, supplier sourcing & management, change management, and reporting & insights – to create more balanced travel programs.

2. The final mile

“There’s discussion in the market about how travelers fill in the so-called ‘final mile’,” said Rob Coomer, CWT’s Snr. Director Customer Management, “specifically how they’re travelling the distance from the terminal or station to a meeting location.

There has been an increase in micro mobility options to accommodate these final mile journeys, such as city bike rentals and e-scooters, as we’ve seen in Paris and London, and which is now expanding. Broadening options and campaigns from governments that encourage walking and cycling throughout the pandemic will lead to a shift in how ‘the final mile’ is taken in the future.”

3. Sustainable aviation fuel

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is derived from sustainable feedstocks and is similar in its chemistry to more commonly used fossil jet fuel. Using SAF results in a reduction in carbon emissions compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces over the lifecycle of the fuel.

Sustainable aviation fuel is an exciting development in the CO2 reduction arena because it allows organizations to focus less on offsetting and more on overall de-carbonization.

As we see a renewed focus on the environment from within our industry post-pandemic, we are observing a desire to help make SAF achieve the economies of scale necessary to become commonly viable. Several airlines are leading the way on initiatives on sustainable aviation fuel.

For example, we recently announced a partnership with Delta Air Lines on an agreement to purchase enough sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to cover the projected fuel usage from all of CWT’s travelers on Delta on 5 June, which was World Environment Day.

Find out more about how to measure success in sustainable travel over at CWT’s podcast, Business Travel On the Fly.


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