Sustainable business travel programs could see a huge boost when Covid-19 falls to safe levels, due to vaccines and other programs, according to some travel managers looking to fast-track their companies’ climate compliance. In a survey, the Climate Action for Corporate Travel Urgent Sustainability Summit (CACTUS) found 93% strongly agree or agree that Covid-19 has given travel managers an opportunity to fast track the creation of “a more sustainable and viable future for the planet.” A 2020 survey of buyer members of the Institute of Travel Management (ITM) found 56% believed the focus on sustainable business travel would remain the same after Covid, but 40% said it would become more important.
The challenge of implementing a sustainable travel program once loomed large, according to experts. The added costs often muted sustainability goals. Research data showed that nearly all the companies surveyed by SAP Concur (98%) are prepared to allocate additional spend on sustainability programs over and above their current travel management budgets. However, market predictions indicate that without focused intervention, business travel emissions could return to previous levels.
Many airlines, hotels and car-hire companies have made massive changes to their business models to ensure that travel is more sustainable and have been looking for opportunities to apply them to current programs, experts say.