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

Sustainability in Siemens between travel and mobility policy

At Siemens, sustainability is a cornerstone of the business strategy between travel and mobility policy. This can be clearly seen from the Sustainability report. The latter therefore also plays a fundamental role in the management of corporate mobility. The purchasing process, in fact, includes the principles of sustainability both in the qualification, both in the evaluation and in the development of suppliers.

“For us, sustainability in corporate mobility means not only working on the travel policy, but also on meetings and events, on the car policy and on commuting from home to work”, he argues Valeria BraidottiHead of procurement mobility services di Siemens Italia.

In our country, the German multinational has a corporate traveler base of 2 thousand 700 people.

Siemens and sustainability in mobility policies

A travel policy green it is absolutely “at home” in Siemens. And sustainability is not just a cultural issue, it comes messa a budget.

“We are investing to convert the company car fleet to electric and to equip ourselves with the charging infrastructure necessary to serve the gradual increase of BEV cars in the fleet. The intervention on the company fleet is in fact essential to achieve our objective of neutrality of emissions by 2030. We have already started for years to sensitize drivers on safe and eco driving and we will have to accompany the transition to electric with information campaigns on benefits and test drive.

Nell’organization of events we paid attention to the ability of suppliers to integrate aspects of sustainability with regard to environmental, social and economic impact.

Sometimes, to accomplish a sustainable event we have to increase the budget, so sustainability is absolutely a spending issue ».

Here is that Siemens has established some guidelines in 2021. For the choice of locations, for example, the evaluation favors aspects such as logistical centrality and internal catering. For communication, the orientation is towards digital formats. Gadgets are also sustainable.

Braidotti: «We have created a flyer that explains the approach to internal customers and suppliers and we have a tool evaluation to establish the level of sustainability of the corporate event “.

Business travel: an ever greener Travel Policy

In such an evolved context, how do the business trips?

For some years now, there has already been a strong corporate mandate in the reduction of trips for internal travel.

Braidotti: “Our slogan is”Travel less, Travel smart, Travel sustainable“. This year we set out to work on the awareness raising of travelers by creating guidelines for sustainable travel.

In addition, we conducted a global RFP (request for proposal) for hotel facilities, in which the facilities were chosen not only on the basis of the proposed rate, but also on obtaining the “green stay” label to guarantee protection of the environment, and in particular: energy management, waste disposal and water reuse, use of goods and services that do not contain harmful and polluting substances ».

Then it will be up to the traveler to choose, because in Siemens business trips are not pre-authorized.

Here is where the company acts on employee empowerment.

Braidotti: «We try to guide the choices: we suggest direct flights and the obligation of the economy class (CO2 emissions are lower, ed), for example. In the booking toolthe traveler chooses independently both between hotels distinguished by a “Green Stay” label and between other hotels.

Once the pandemic is over, we will also focus on shared car journeys.

We will also suggest short term rentals with electric cars.

I would like all information relating to a trip’s emissions to be available to the traveler when planning and booking including the emissions of their company car so that they can choose which travel option is more sustainable. It is very important to be able to guide these choices ».

How is the choice made?

The traveling company population is informed through multiple channels, from the intranet to newsletters but also through an internal social network.

The latter is useful for travel advice, news relating to service providers, for example as a consequence of risks Covid-19. But it is also essential to address sustainability issues such as, for example, the opportunity to reduce emissions, thanks to the choice of traveling light, avoiding hold baggage.

In addition to the communication set there is a system in reportingthat is a cost monitoring dashboard e emissions travel.

Braidotti: «We will have a new tool end to end, that is a single travel booking and expense reporting tool, replacing the self booking tool we have had for some time. This will allow us to have a simpler and faster travel management process ».

Internal travel reduced to a minimum

It goes without saying that sustainability can also be achieved by limiting travel.

Before the pandemic, 50% of travel was internal, that is to other corporate offices in Italy and abroad, including Germany. Today employees are invited to reflect before each trip, evaluating the real need and the opportunity to achieve the same result with virtual meetings.

Furthermore, the number of truly needed participants must also be carefully considered to avoid unnecessary travel.

“This new approach has allowed us to reduce costs, increase productivity and above all be more sustainable”, argues the manager.

Today too trainingwhich previously was in the classroom and involved moving staff even for long distances, is carried out online.

[Approfondisci sulla flotta aziendale di Edison]

Mobility management and smart working: a consolidated balance

As a mobility manager, Valeria Braidotti took care of the Home-Work Marriage Plan, therefore she analyzed the mobility needs of the staff. The company began to introduce smart working in 2011 and since 2018 it has extended it to everyone.

Workers can work where they want and when they deem it appropriate, on the basis of the assigned tasks. They are equipped with internet connection at home, smartphones, Apple TV on site, virtual collaboration tools and all the business documentation is on the net.

«People decide when they go to the office and at what time: hence the drastic reduction of CO2 emissions in commuting from home to work – explains Braidotti-. We encourage the use of local public transport and the company contributes to the cost of the season ticket by paying the remainder in installments ».

For the Milan office, where most of the collaborators are located, they have been assigned 100 branded bikes to be used for the last mile to the nearest subway and station where two garages with maintenance service have been made available.

[Devi orientare le tue policy aziendali alla sostenibilità? Partecipa a MissionForum]

Measure CO2 emissions

All that remains is to measure the carbon dioxide emissions produced.

Today, measurement is possible only for air flight, as the airlines provide the data. But there is no tool that aggregates the calculation of all travel services. “And as I said, I’d like it to include the company car as well.”

Do you think that you will arrive at the choice of suppliers on the basis of an approach to sustainability in line with those of your company?

«Certainly, ours already today purchasing process includes the principles of sustainability both in the qualification, both in the evaluation and in the development of suppliers. The choice will increasingly fall on suppliers who pursue our goal “.

[Approfondisci sulla travel policy green di BNL del Gruppo Bnp Paribas]

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