Once a trip has been agreed as a key business objective, how can you be a sustainable traveller? Travellers do have options that can more positively affect the future of the planet. Read on to find out our pick of sustainable suggestions.
Where possible, take the train. The European Environment Agency has highlighted that CO2 emissions from trains is considerably lower than taking a flight.
Worried about the added time of a train journey? Remember that most major airports are located outside of a city, while a city’s main train station is often right at its very heart. Also factor in that train travel cuts out checking-in time at airports, waiting in baggage arrivals and transfer from the airport to the city centre.
If you can’t avoid flying, choose direct routes whenever possible; this will cut down on CO2 emissions because a large part of these come from take-off and landing. So, the fewer flights you take on one trip, the better. Of course, taking a direct route isn’t always possible; in which case, book the most direct connecting route.
Economy seats are the lightest and smallest seat option and more can be fitted onto a plane; when a plane takes off with more people on board, there are fewer CO2 emissions per passenger.
FLY WITH FUEL-EFFICIENT AIRLINES
IATA is already working with airlines and industry partners to reduce the aviation industry’s fuel requirements. As a traveller, you can play a part too, by choosing to fly with airlines that have more modern fleets; these aircrafts are generally more fuel-efficient. Also look out for airlines making large investments in Sustainable Aviation Fuel production and other projects to make their ground and on-board operations more sustainable.
BUY SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL OR OFFSET YOUR EMISSIONS
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions, compared to the same amount of fossil fuel. SAF is sourced from raw materials, ranging from used cooking oils to agricultural waste. Reed & Mackay clients are offered Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ to help reduce the environmental impact of their business travel.
Another way is to offset your emissions by investing in verified projects that reduce, avoid or remove carbon emissions in various ways around the globe. Reed & Mackay is now working with Climate Impact Partners to do this.
PRE-SELECT FLIGHT MEALS
Choose your meal before you board – this will help minimise waste and therefore reduce extra weight on the plane. Or choose sustainable menu options – some airlines have introduced more plant-based, sustainably sourced meals.
Similar to choosing the ‘lighter’ seat in economy – a heavier plane, train or bus uses more fuel – the lighter your luggage, the better it is for reducing your carbon footprint. As you pack, think: ‘do I really need that extra pair of shoes? Shall I bring mini refillable toiletry containers?’ Every kilo really does count! Go with hand luggage only if you can.
HIRE AN ECO CAR
Car rental companies are increasingly providing the option to hire either an electric or a hybrid car; an electric car does mean no fuel, no emissions, while hybrid uses a petrol engine and an electric motor – so they’re worth considering.
BOOK A SUSTAINABLE OR ECO-FRIENDLY HOTEL
Check a hotel’s website to discover its green credentials (look out for their energy efficiency, whether they use eco-friendly suppliers and local resources, are they working with local communities, do they supply bikes to hotel guests?). Also check if they’ve received any environmental certifications, for example from EcoVadis, ISO 14001, Green Tourism or Green Key.
Remember, if you choose accommodation close to your meetings’ and social events’ venues, the less you’ll have to use transport to get you there, ultimately reducing your carbon footprint.
BEFORE YOU GO – WRITE YOURSELF A REMINDER TO TURN EVERYTHING OFF AT HOME
Unplug anything electrical (don’t leave TVs and computers on standby) and turn down the heating and fridge.