About a decade ago, the travel buyers of large firms were extremely focused on securing environmentally-friendly service providers. But then the worldwide financial crisis reared its ugly head and before we knew it everyone scampered back to the drawing board to see where they could tighten the belt and which pennies could be pinched.
Now that the economy has gotten back on its feet, albeit a little unsteadily, travel managers are back in the ring, fighting the good fight to ensure that green due diligence finds its way back onto meeting agendas. A leading travel management survey recently showed that 48% of travel managers and 45% of business travellers have noted environmentally-conscious travel as an emerging trend once more. In Europe, it was found that 57% of the country's companies already have eco-initiatives included in their corporate travel policies, an increase of 18% since a previous polling 5 years ago.
According to the director of a consultancy that focusses on helping hotels and larger accommodation venues to lessen their environmental footprint, travel programmes with a sustainability focus requires that both existing and future travel providers have to be vetted and evaluated from scratch in this regard. In short, eco-friendly travel is good business. Suppliers who do the work to make their businesses more sustainable attract ethically minded companies, who in turn have the potential to assert pressure on other businesses to do the same. Instead of a vicious cycle, we're looking at a victorious one.
The good news is that a lot of suppliers did not drop the green due diligence ball during the financial crisis. Certain larger businesses were still pushing for eco-friendly service providers and kept these venues afloat. During this time, these suppliers found that a sustainable approach to accommodation and travel is about more than just your ecological footprint, it's about making difficult decisions, and only aligning yourself with stakeholders who support your sustainability initiatives by doing the same on their end.
With new legislation in the UK that now requires that quoted companies have to report on their carbon emissions, including as it pertains to business travel, the trend towards sustainable travel and green due diligence is only set to gain ground. At TravelManor are we are keeping an interested eye out for similar developments on the African content. Travelling abroad for business and would like to know how ‘green’ your hotel is? Ask your corporate travel agency to check for you.