Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and its environmental footprint. But the industry as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done. These are just some of the insights from an extensive, landmark research study released today –”The State of Sustainability in the Global Business Travel Sector”— from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest business travel association, and Grayling, a leading global public affairs and communications consultancy.
The report reveals that barriers to achieving more sustainable business travel include higher costs, limited data, and lack of access to transparent information. On the flip side, a change in industry culture, easier tracking of data, and harmonized standards are seen as key enablers. Partnerships will be critical for sustainability transition, as the issues over financial burden-sharing and data availability are best addressed through collaboration.
There’s no longer the debate whether we should engage in sustainable actions for business travel, but how we turn ambition into action. Investing in sustainable solutions must be part of our game plan today to make sure we can still connect people and travel for business tomorrow,” said Delphine Millot, Senior Vice President, Sustainability, who joined GBTA In January this year to head up the association’s Sustainability Program. “This is only possible if our industry joins forces – across our full value chain and with external stakeholders including governments, to adopt ambitious targets, drive green investments and accelerate the uptake of clean technologies.”
The 21-page GBTA benchmarking study provides in-depth data and commentary from both global business travel buyers and travel suppliers as well as policy makers, think tanks and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to reveal top priorities and opportunities as the business travel industry accelerates its journey toward a more sustainable future.
Key takeaways from the study include:
“Business travel brings people together and fosters economic growth. However, the industry must ensure people can effectively connect in-person and conduct business globally while doing what is right for society and the planet,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “To do so, the industry needs information, tools, and partnerships to leverage current momentum and execute even more actionable outcomes. GBTA’s mission is to help guide the sustainability journey with the business travel industry, and this report is just one part of that roadmap in how we’ll get there together.”
From January to March 2022, GBTA surveyed 762 global business travel industry professionals from four regions — Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific — for their views on how to best incorporate sustainability into business travel programs.
GBTA also surveyed 100 relevant external stakeholders worldwide including policymakers, think tanks, non-profit organizations, and international organizations to strengthen its understanding on the perceptions of the sector from the outside.
GBTA’s “The State of Sustainability in the Global Business Travel Sector” full research report can be downloaded here. The report and the GBTA Sustainability Program are supported by the association’s Founding Partners in Sustainability. Visit gbta.org/sustainability for more information.