Are you familiar with the term ‘flysgskam’? Maybe not, but if I tell you it is the Swedish neologism that describes the shame we ought to feel about flying, I am sure you will immediately know what I am talking about.
The flight shaming movement started in late 2017, when various Swedish celebrities pledged to give up air travel, and has gained worldwide prominence thanks to the young activist Greta Thunberg.
Moving with the times, the travel industry has been working now for several years on how to make trips more sustainable. From electric planes to single-use plastics reduction, suppliers are heavily engaged encouraged by a growing number of customers who are hyper aware of the need to adopt sustainable practices that respect the environment.
In fact, Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2019 has found that climate change is the greatest concern for millennials and we have been asked more questions than ever before by clients concerned about how to connect the dots of more sustainable travel programs.
Conscious of the importance of addressing these needs, sustainability is at the top of the travel industry agenda. In fact, at the end of last year, CWT sponsored a session on the topic during the GBTA Conference held in Munich.
As one of the panelists, I had the opportunity to witness how professionals from different segments of the travel industry got together to identify critical drivers for change, key opportunities to improve sustainability, constraints preventing their implementation and the role travelers, buyers, travel management companies (TMCs), airlines and accommodation suppliers play in bringing these ideas to life.
When it came to the role of TMCs, attendants agreed that actors such as CWT had a unique position to drive change. As intermediaries between customers and suppliers, they can drive consistency and make sure strong standards are set in the industry.
The participants also agreed on TMCs’ importance when it comes to advising companies on how to build greener travel policies and help them enforcing them through tools such as targeted messaging, gamification, and tools that narrow the available options and offer travelers only the more sustainable ones.
At CWT we are seriously committed to being a positive force for change in the world. Combating climate change is an emergency that requires collective and concerted action from all parts. As responsible actors, our role in the industry is focused on providing our clients with the right tools and services so buyers can measure and manage their emissions through reporting, and our customers can build more responsible travel programs.