Many corporates are now demanding accurate reporting and assistance from their travel agents in managing their travel carbon footprint.
According to a corporate procurement officer at a leading vehicle manufacturer in the Eastern Cape, the company has urged its Travel Manager to prioritise sustainable travel within the organisation and is taking important steps to track carbon emissions and implement offsetting measures.
“Our hub company is based in Europe, and we must abide by its emissions programme as set out by the EU. It is imperative that we report our emissions and do more to offset the carbons we use. We are working on a policy with our TMC to report accurately and reduce our emissions significantly, even if it means using airlines that use newer aircraft and have a solid zero emissions plan.
“We also use green hotels wherever we can, and our agent guides us towards the best products to make us as carbon-conscious as possible,” he said.
Reporting is crucial
Bonnie Smith, GM of Flight Centre Corporate SA, shared some insights with Travel News.
“It’s important to be able to report on your clients’ travel CO₂ emissions and provide a clear breakdown of their output, using dynamic visualisation tools. Once the client has got the full picture of their emissions, you can see how they measure up against their organisation’s sustainability goals, using real-time interactive reporting.
“At FCM we take a deep dive into our clients’ travel habits. Once we’ve located where the client’s emissions are coming from, we can provide solutions to effectively reduce them. From offsetting to engineered carbon emissions removal, FCM has access to over 100 carbon mitigation projects that can effect real change and the clients discover ways that they can travel more sustainably.”
Airlines and nett zero
Tom Byrne, Head of Net Zero and Environment at British Airways, explained the airline’s ‘Better world’ product in a recent podcast.
“BA is looking at operating efficiency that utilises new technology, SAF fuel, electric vehicles on the apron, onboard recycling and no single-use plastic.
“Clients can offset carbon emissions on all our flights via our online platform CO2llaborate. They can purchase SAF fuel or carbon removal credits to offset their flight.”
Over 50 airlines offer passengers the option to buy carbon offsets online.
Travel agents using Amadeus’s solutions will be able to explore a portfolio of vetted solutions addressing climate change and clients can seamlessly purchase offsets or removal solutions to offset the carbon emissions associated with a given trip. Importantly, travellers will have insight into the end-to-end trip, enabling customers to understand and address their carbon impact across their journey – including rail, taxi, airline, and hotel segments.
Travelport users can easily compare CO₂ estimates generated by the TIM (Travel Impact Model) per flight, per passenger, across carriers, at the point of sale based on factors such as the type of aircraft, seat configuration, distance of the flight, load factors and more. These enhanced TIM carbon emission estimates for air segments can be accessed via Smartpoint, Trip Quote and the Travelport API Suite in the Flight Service Information Display and In-Flight Search Response views.
Say yes to the tech
Smith adds: “Travel technology is advancing quickly, and the right tech can support and drive the sustainability journey, including carbon calculators to measure clients’ impact and dashboards to measure their progress.
Today’s online booking platforms also use alerts and pop-ups to ‘green flag’ more sustainable choices.
She says nudging clients towards more sustainable choices could comprise, for example, encouraging direct routes, and including new features that display CO₂ emissions at every point in the itinerary, including each leg of a flight, rail and car trips.
“These ‘nudges’ encourage travellers to make greener, more responsible travel choices,” says Smith.
On October 4, 2021, Iata member airlines adopted a resolution aiming for nett-zero carbon emissions from their operations. This initiative, known as Fly Net Zero, outlines a commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 5% by 2030 and achieving nett zero carbon by 2050.