What can you do to manage your footprint while traveling? Since our audience can wear two hats: the traveler and influencer, we wanted to share some quick tips for each on how you can better manage your travel footprint.
- There has never been a better time to go digital/paperless. Whether its airline tickets, itineraries, or receipts - do you really need (or even want?) that paper?
- Ride-share companies have been shaking up the rental car industry for a few years now, and over time will only improve service, options, and efficiencies. Even if the cost is "about the same", ride-shares, and certainly public transport are almost always greener options than renting a car.
- While eating local is already a key reason why we travel, restaurants with more local ingredients have lower Scope III emissions related to transportation.
- Stop buying expensive water in airports. Bring a reusable bottle, like one of the ones listed here, like the Hydaway.
- Many airlines enable you to purchase carbon offsets when you’re book a flight. They are relatively inexpensive, and now that you know what they are, we hope you'll consider opting-in.
- Pack what you need. Additional weight from luggage makes a plane heavier, and less energy efficient.
- Consider rail travel (when feasible), versus flying. Although more common in places like Europe, government have placed a large focus on improving rail services and costs to make this option more compelling.
- Fly direct, when it makes sense. Most fuel is consumed during take-off and landing.
- Select green hotels. Some hotels have made this a higher priority than others, and certifications now exist to validate their results (e.g., Green Seal, Leads).
- Make energy-conscious decisions, just like you would in your own home, especially as it relates to re-using towels, the temperature, and consumption of disposable amenities.
- Even better? Stay at an Airbnb, or with a friend (earn some Tripkicks points!), and reduce some of the common waste associated with hotels.
Tips for the
- Align with the head of sustainability and/or the Corporate Social Responsibility team and policy.
Step #1 for any program, as you'll likely find support, and previous ground-work to leverage from addressing Scope I and II emissions. You can be the catalyst for your company to tackle Scope III. In addition to helping the environment, you're increasing the value of your organizations brand identity.
- Let your travelers know that this is important to the company and the travel program.
Every travel policy has goals and objectives. Make this one of them, so that it's on the minds of your travelers. Include other tips such as promoting rail travel, encouraging ride-shares, and being thoughtful about making the most of the trip - to avoid duplicates.
- Incorporate sustainability goals into your meetings & events.
From the gratuitous food and beverages, to the swag, to the travel - meetings produce waste. Given the high-cost associated with meetings, incorporating goals and suppliers focused on sustainability may present a way to make a big impact on your new focus on sustainability. Some locally sourced and low-hanging fruit!
- Bring sustainability goals into your preferred supplier programs.
If you have a large program, use your leverage to make this a priority for your suppliers. You can read a great example of how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation worked with Delta airlines to do just that.
Smaller program without the leverage? Be more selective with your suppliers, even if you don't always get "the best" price. Price is important, but it's not the only criteria that you should consider.
- Work with your TMC to establish some metrics.
Leading TMCs are working across their customer base to bring sustainable travel to the forefront of organizations. Leverage their knowledge around methods, tactics, and data / benchmarks to get a jumpstart on your program. Many are looking to tell their stories about working with passionate travel programs bringing real results to an area that is dramatically increasing in importance.