Business travel and sustainability: a zero-emission combination9 February 2021
Environmental sustainability is becoming an increasingly topical issue, and business travel is no exception: BizAway is attentive to the problem of pollution caused by corporate mobility, providing for concrete solutions which can be adopted through the use of its platform. Here is why environmental sustainability and business travel can represent a zero-emission combination.
What is environmental sustainability?
The idea of environmental sustainability is based on the global need to safeguard the planet’s natural resources, thus avoiding waste and over-exploitation aimed at the creation of new wealth.
Environmental sustainability consists of 5 main spheres of action:
- Air pollution: In order to reduce air pollution from fossil fuels, it is essential to promote green mobility by choosing sustainable transport solutions and focusing on the sharing economy;
- Climate change: Toxic air pollutants released into the atmosphere are the cause of climate change, an ever-growing phenomenon that our ecosystem is struggling to cope with. Reducing these emissions is the only step that needs to be taken in the attempt of mitigating a process that could become irreversible;
- Resource management: A sustainable approach ensures that the management of renewable resources is appropriately weighted according to their natural regenerative cycle while aiming at the waste reduction caused by the consumption of non-renewable resources;
- Deforestation and urbanisation: Both phenomena have contributed heavily to the disappearance of green areas at an increasingly fast pace. Sustainability, thus, means to consider and evaluate every single environmental intervention, taking into account the regenerative capacity of natural resources;
- Biodiversity loss: animal species and natural habitats are endangered, as a consequence of urbanisation and deforestation. A sustainable approach is essential to ensure their survival in the long run.
Environmental laws and sustainability
The importance of safeguarding the environment with a view to sustainable development was endorsed by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, which in 1987 drew up the Brundtland Report: the document highlights the importance of sustainable development (in social, economic and environmental terms) capable of […] meeting the needs of the present generation, without compromising future ones”. Another crucial step in the history of sustainability is Agenda 21, the first global plan of action with regard to eco-sustainable development, launched during the Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio De Janeiro, in 1992. Following the Sustainable Development Summit in 2015, a total of 17 goals revolving around people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership have been agreed on and set on Agenda 2030.
Nel 2015 il piano di intervento è stato ampliato con la definizione di 17 obiettivi di sviluppo sostenibile contenuti in Agenda 2030.
Travel and sustainability
Environmental sustainability becomes crucial in other fields such as the tourism sector: green travel and sustainable tourism are becoming increasingly popular— as a consequence of an ever-growing awareness of the travellers and the travel industry. The world of business travel is also on the front line when it comes to environmental sustainability, and more and more companies strive to reduce the environmental impact of business travel, adding specific limitations to their travel policies in order to promote a greener and more sustainable ways of travel.
Reducing CO2 emissions: a concrete commitment to environmental sustainability
We have one mission: to simplify business travel — and we do this through the use of one technology platform that streamlines all corporate travel booking and management processes. With this in mind, we have developed new environmentally sustainable solutions that could meet the expectations of our customers. A great opportunity to promote green mobility through a wide-ranging awareness campaign.
New mangrove plantations in support of Eden Reforestation Project
This is why we started a partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects: a non-profit organisation fighting against poverty and pollution through the plantation of mangrove trees in large areas devastated by deforestation in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nepal, Haiti, Indonesia, Mozambique and Kenya.
La mangrovia è una pianta estremamente preziosa per il Pianeta essendo in grado di assorbire da 2 fino a 4 volte di più le emissioni di CO2 rispetto ad altre specie tropicali.
Mangroves are extremely valuable for the planet, as they are capable of absorbing 2 to 4 times more CO2 emissions than other tropical species. One single mangrove tree can absorb more than 308 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere during its lifetime (25 years on average), a figure calculated at an average of 12.3 kg per year per tree. Mangroves also play a key role in specific coastal ecosystems because they are able to regulate the amount of sediment and play a protective role during storms thanks to the strength of their deep-seated roots.
Nell’ottica propria dello sviluppo sostenibile, l’iniziativa di Eden Reforestation Projects porta numerosi benefici anche ai villaggi e di conseguenza all’economia, dando la possibilità alla popolazione locale di svincolarsi dai debiti e dalla schiavitù.
Gli abitanti vengono attivamente coinvolti sia nella coltivazione che nella gestione delle piantagioni riuscendo a ottenere un reddito equo e costante per sostenersi. Parallelamente riescono a garantire ai figli un’istruzione, ad acquistare cibo e accedere alle cure mediche.
It is precisely with this spirit of sustainable development that Eden Reforestation Projects brings impactful benefits to the villages, and thus to economy, enabling local communities living in extreme poverty to afford daily necessities and free themselves from slavery. Members in the local communities are actively involved in the cultivation and maintenance of plantations — managing, in this way, to earn a fair income to support themselves and their families, meaning an easier access to education, food and medical care.
Automatic carbon footprint calculator for business travel
Dal 2004, anno di inizio dell’attività di riforestazione, la non-profit ha piantato più di 250 milioni di alberi ed entro il 2025 mira ad arrivare a piantarne almeno 500 milioni all’anno (con un notevole impatto sul tasso di occupazione locale). Un obiettivo il cui raggiungimento è supportato dalla ricerca tecnologica di BizAway: siamo infatti la prima piattaforma ad aver automatizzato l’offset diretto delle emissioni di anidride carbonica.
Since its conceptualization in the fall of 2004, over 250 million trees have been planted by Eden, which by 2025 aims to plant at least 500 million trees per year (with a significant impact on the local employment rate). Being the first platform to have automated the direct offset of carbon dioxide emissions, BizAway supports Eden in the achievement of its goal.
Referring to the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) carbon emissions calculator, a one-way flight Venice – Barcelona for one passenger emits 100.1kg of CO2 that can be offset with a donation of just €0.04. For every €0.10 donated by customers — such amount is deductible against the donation certificate regularly issued by BizAway — Eden Reforestation Projects plants one mangrove tree. An extremely small financial contribution, but one that can make all the difference. Moreover, the offset calculation algorithms work not only for flights but also for hotel and car rental bookings.
BizAway’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions goes even further: our team of business travel experts, who can be reached directly via chat, can recommend the most suitable green hotel for each traveller from a wide global portfolio of properties. Trains, scooters and alternative low impact travel solutions can also be booked through the platform.
Why choose a sustainability-conscious partner for your business travel?
Rivolgersi a una TMC attenta al rispetto dell’ambiente è una scelta che apporta molteplici vantaggi:
- A guaranteed concrete contribution to offset the emissions of each business trip;
- The collaboration between TMC and reliable non-profit organisations allows you to receive timely tracking of the results of your donations;
- Contribution to the improvement of the living conditions of disadvantaged populations by supporting the local economy, thus reflecting in the global economy, which is in fact closely linked to the business travel sector;
- The green principles contained in the company’s travel policy are respected on an ongoing basis;
- Thanks to the advice provided by professionals sensitive to environmental impact, economical travel solutions are becoming more and more accessible, precisely because they have been identified according to specific principles by comparison with different travel options for the same trip (between flight, car and train);
- Discovering and evaluating alternative forms of low-impact or zero-emission mobility and accommodation to integrate into your travel policy.
Although 2020 was an extremely difficult year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, especially for the travel sector, we are proud of the results achieved thanks to the collaboration with Eden Reforestation Projects:
- 58.470 mangrove trees planted
- 18.008.760 Kg of CO2 offset
- 585 guaranteed working days for the local community
Some more advantages brought by BizAway
The benefits of using our platform are not just about sustainability, in fact thanks to the technological nature of our business we enable companies to:
- Search for travel solutions, book them and manage them through an all-in-one platform;
- Set up ad hoc travel policies, company billing profile and preferred payment method;
- Receive invoices on a customised periodic frequency;
- Request events or groups travel management;
- Receive 24/7 multilingual support from specialised business travel agents;
- Access to the lowest fares through exclusive agreements with trusted suppliers;
- Access a wide range of global travel services;
- Set up the booking approval system to suit the business needs;
- Manage travel risks with the Travel Risk Management feature;
- Download the app and have all bookings available for consultation.
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