Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated every year on April 22nd. On this day, various initiatives and activities are organized to promote environmental protection. It’s a cause close to our hearts at Encore, and we strive to do our part every day. Beyond the personal efforts of our employees, the company is also committed to the environment; we are actively working towards obtaining the B Corp certification.
However, corporate travel, while necessary for business development, has a significant negative environmental impact. But rest assured, it is possible to reduce this impact! To mark this day of celebration of our beautiful planet, we present you with a few tips to make your business trips “greener”.
1. Take a direct flight
Did you know that take-off and landing account for half of a flight’s carbon emissions? Stopovers therefore drastically increase environmental damage. Whenever possible, stick to a direct flight. In addition to helping the planet, you’ll arrive at your destination faster and more rested!
2. Choose a more ecological means of transport
If your journey is not very long, as is often the case for domestic travel, consider taking the train rather than the plane. It’s a more environmentally friendly way to travel, and you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful landscapes. If you absolutely must fly, fly economy class, which allows for more people per plane, which means fewer emissions per person. Once you reach your destination, don’t hesitate to carpool or use public transport to get around. Renting an electric car is also a great way to reduce your environmental footprint! In any case, try to minimize the amount of transport between the places you have to visit; for example, choose a hotel that is within walking distance of the conference you are invited to.
3. Buy carbon credits
It is now possible for companies to purchase carbon credits to offset the greenhouse gas emissions produced by their activities; this is called “carbon offset”. Upon request, Encore Travel can even produce reports on your emissions to help you keep track of them. Obviously, this advice is more for businesses than for travellers, but as an individual, you can donate to an environmental organization to offset your emissions from a family trip, for example.
4. Prioritize suppliers who are known for their green initiatives
Some suppliers are making exceptional efforts to reduce their environmental impact, and there are now several certifications to recognize these initiatives in the travel industry. Green Key Global, for example, is “a leading international environmental certification body that offers standardized programs and resources, designed specifically for the hotel and meetings industries”. Hotel programs managed by Encore Travel’s Account Managers incorporate the Green Key rating component when selecting hotels for the year. Elements evaluated include energy and water conservation, waste management, air quality, etc. An increasingly popular practice in the hotel industry is to change towels only when requested by the guest, so you too can do your part by asking for new ones only when necessary.
5. Adopt simple good habits
As a traveller, there are some simple habits you can easily adopt, starting now. For example, choose a reusable water bottle over a disposable one. These days, there are even retractable bottles that take up less space when empty, which is perfect for carry-on luggage. Another simple habit is not to print out your travel documents. Most airports and hotels around the world now accept tickets, boarding passes and booking confirmations in digital form. Don’t forget your charger to make sure you have access to these important documents at all times! Eating at local restaurants rather than chain restaurants is also a great way to reduce your environmental impact and immerse yourself in the local culture. If you can eat there instead of taking your meal to go in polluting disposable containers, even better!
If you are a traveller yourself, feel free to apply these tips to your next trip. Most of these tips apply to both tourists and business travellers! Are you a decision-maker in your organization’s travel policy? Make it your mission to incorporate elements of this article to encourage your travellers to make better choices for the environment. Every action makes a difference in protecting our beautiful planet, and the time to act is now!