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Sustainability in Travel: 2020 Outlook

At CTM’s recent Supplier Speed Dating event, themed ‘Sustainable Travel’, we were thrilled to learn of the exciting initiatives our suppliers are on working on to provide more sustainable business travel experiences for our clients.

While the concept of ‘Green Travel’ has been circulating the industry for over a decade, only recently has technology developed far-enough to provide practical solutions to this increasingly important subject.

One example gaining momentum is a promise from airlines who are aiming above and beyond carbon-offsetting to carbon-neutral targets. Ambitious plans from British Airways and parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) hope to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 through more fuel-efficient aircraft, smarter operational techniques and switching to biofuel.

United Airlines has also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emission by 50% by 2050, while Virgin Atlantic has announced a more recent target of 30% reduction by 2021.

On the ground, car transportation company Carey is tackling CO2 by investing in electric fleets – all new vehicles bought from December 2019 will be electric. Already the company has seen an 18% fuel reduction since providing training to drivers on environmentally friendly driving techniques such as gliding when available instead of constant acceleration.

However, nothing can beat the sustainability results of rail service providers such as Eurostar and LNER. Eurostar’s progress in this area has been outstanding, and they continue to strive for even better. From 1st January 2020, Eurostar will plant a tree for every train that departs– an estimated 20,000 trees per year. They are also donating all un-bought food from the on-board cafes to charities and all left behind blankets to animal shelters for the winter.

In the hotel space, Travelodge, Accor and IHG have committed to eliminating single-use plastics such as bathroom amenities, food items and packaging. New CTM partner Wyndham hotels announced an interesting initiative to incentivise guests to be more sustainable by offering more rewards points for sustainable acts such as not replacing towels and bedding and reducing electricity use.

With solid commitments from suppliers to improve sustainability within the industry, CTM is looking forward to working closely with preferred partners to support their goals in 2020 and beyond.