The Appeal of Sustainable Hotels
Over Half of North American Companies Have Corporate Sustainability Programs in Place
Only one in six travel management professionals (16 percent) currently incentivize their business travelers to stay in hotels with sustainable practices, according to a new study released today by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association, in partnership with AIG Travel. Even fewer (4 percent) require travelers to book suppliers with sustainable practices, leaving a huge opportunity for the business travel industry to adopt and even incentivize more sustainable practices.
The study, Corporate Social Responsibility: Going Beyond Green, also revealed only 5 percent of travel management professionals incentivize travelers to fly direct, 3 percent incentivize travelers to use public transportation where available and 2 percent incentivize travelers to share transportation to and from the airport when traveling with co-workers.
«Now more than ever before, companies are taking a holistic approach to improving what many call the ‘triple bottom line,’ comprised of social, environmental and financial factors, or the ‘three P’s,» people, planet and profits,» said Kate Vasiloff, GBTA research director. «Travel management professionals are uniquely positioned to take a leadership role within their organizations when it comes to making environmentally-conscious travel policies, vendor and supplier selections and options for travelers.»
More than half (53 percent) of travel management professionals report their companies have a formal corporate sustainability program in place. When it comes to building sustainability into travel programs, the importance of evaluating existing and potential suppliers from a sustainability standpoint cannot be overlooked. Travel management professionals already take into account a myriad of factors including price, traveler preference and convenience. Contracting with sustainability-focused suppliers signals an organization’s concern and commitment to reducing and counteracting the harmful impact of business travel on the environment.
«Travel is more accessible today than ever before, and with this access comes a responsibility to positively impact the places we visit, whether for business or for leisure» said Jeff Rutledge, CEO of AIG Travel. «This research shows there is a major opportunity for companies to incorporate additional sustainability practices into their travel programs.»