Business travel is making a comeback: interview with Susanna Peretti from BTM

For a sustainable travel policy: the advice of BCD Travel

Find solutions for implement a sustainable travel policy it is more urgent than ever, especially in the aftermath of widespread disappointment with the results of Cop26. The United Nations Conference on climate changes in Glasgow leaves most of the participants with a deep sense of frustration and points out how China and India the “big polluters” remain, still holding back their commitment to growth carbon free.

In fact, the first (China: 28% CO2 emissions) and the third polluter in the world will not reach “absolute net zero” before 2060-2070.

If the governments of the world are struggling to find an agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, the idea that from the actions of each individual a global movement in favor of saving the planet makes its way. Also in the business travel.

Alessandra Massa, operational manager of Bcd Travel in Italy

Sustainable travel policy: the advice of BCD Travel

A “historic” theme for Bcd Travel, that of sustainable travel policy is a commitment confirmed by various international awards. The Tmc, in fact, has how mission the sustainability in continuous innovation.

Certified by Ecovadis also in 2021 with the highest level of recognition, Bcd Travel has prioritized the development of solutions to help its customers make corporate travel programs more sustainable, starting in 2020. And being the travel agency travel management company of the largest health companies in the worldthe commitment is inherent to the purpose of the latter.

«Even in Italy, many companies are asking us how to transform the travel policy into a perspective green. After the changes that Covid-19 has dictated, we can start all over again and in a different way, so that it is an effective cultural change in travel habits “, argues the operations manager of Bcd Travel in Italy, Alessandra Massa.

We travel less and in a different way: to translate it into a sustainable TP, how to do it?

The 5 steps to create a sustainable travel program

The five steps to making a sustainable business travel program I am:

  • Focus on employee well-being
  • Don’t encourage 1- or 2-day trips
  • Insert the evaluation “essential travel, Yes-No” in the travel policy
  • Identify the “virtual collaboration” tools for training and technical assistance
  • Leading travelers to make low-carbon choices

Massa explains: “The first thing is to start with the data: measure corporate travel emissions of 2019. From an accurate reporting of CO2 is established the starting point of habits to get to roadmap e target to reach.

Furthermore, these values ​​can be advertised by the company to the travelers themselves, so that they are aware of the impact of their business trip ».

Air travel is the most impacting on the green travel policy

A practical example: since 80-90% of emissions come from air travel, we must pay attention to airlines, their fleets, prefer direct connections.

The analysis is done with the 10 most used carriers.

Massa: “Of course this involves theengagement of the traveler without forgetting the analysis of costs and benefits. However, question the conscious choice al traveller it is already part of the birth of a policy green».

CO2 analysis already from the estimate

Bcd Travel in Italy has multinational companies as customers who have been asking for CO2 consumption for some time in the travel budgeting phase. To the point that Tmc now extends the information to all customers.

Someone multinationalsfurthermore, they require that the type of aircraft be indicated.

Massa: «In our opinion, the approach will also become practice for SMEs. As well as i tool of online conferences will remain and postpone the full resumption of travel to 2025. In fact, the internal meetings are now fully digitized, except for those with customers for whom travel remains the preferred meeting formula “.

Not to forget the choice of prefer the train to the plane, for trips not exceeding 4 hours. “Some companies exclude the Milan-Rome a priori or the CEO’s authorization is required even for day trips: these are practical choices and not blah, blah, blah. Airport transits are also reduced to a minimum ».

Zero-impact hotels and rentals: the supply chain

All the components of the trip combine to create a sustainable business trip. And rethink the supply chain is the central theme in all economic sectors, leading industrial ones such asautomotive committed to colossal investments of hundreds of billions of dollars.

Bcd Travel is supervising them to create a ranking. For example, those with fewer restaurants or those who give up on some amenities. Hotel ownership with green approaches they can do for you. The rentalInstead, it relies on fleets of electric cars as companies enforce the local public transportwhere possible, instead of traveling by taxi or NCC.

“They seem like small changes, but they have big impacts because it’s about global companies with high travel numbers», Emphasizes the manager.

Among engagement tools on the traveler the agency uses pop up messaging on the self booking tool. Alerts like: “Great, you made the best choice!” or disincentives such as “You are circumventing the travel policy, we recommend that you use preferential carriers” seem to be a useful incentive.

It is the company that sets these levels of persuasion and some prohibit the booking of non-compliant services.

In addition, Bcd Travel has the app Tripsource with the summary of the trips booked, which guide the passenger in the sustainable choice. And it is not always the most expensive, also because if companies travel less, they will be able to spend better.

What role of TMCs?

Given that smart working is changing the habits of procurement company, what role do TMCs play in this phase of awakening of feelings of sustainability?

Massa: «Several companies are also returning to the agency to book a hotel, as we offer greater security guarantees for the traveling staff (location and interventions in case of need, ed). Likewise, on the consumption of CO2 they turn to us to certify the data. Until two years ago we were not able to be so detailed, we have equipped ourselves with tools and knowledge during the pandemic ».

In the last two months of 2021, Bcd Travel will communicate its emissions reduction targets for 2030.

You might be interested in: 5 Ways to Implement a Sustainable Business Travel Policy, from the Bcd Travel blog

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