Whenever we travel, there is a lot to think about – we consider what time we need to arrive at the airport, what we’re going to pack, which pocket we’ve put the travel documents in and how we’re getting from the airport to our destination once we’re off the plane. But how often do we consider the environmental impact of your business travels?
Business travel is a great way to see new places, experience new cultures, meet new people, try the local food and of course, grow your business but frequent travel has a negative impact on the environment. Here at 1Plus2Travel, we regularly travel for business so thought we would share our top tips for green business trips.
Opt for eco-friendly airports
Air travel has a bad reputation when it comes to environmental issues so, if you have to fly, consider using an eco-friendly airport. Boston Logan International Airport is regarded as one of the leaders in green initiatives having installed wind turbines and solar panels as well as drastically cutting its CO2 emissions by its use of an environmentally-friendly asphalt mix. Zurich Airport in Switzerland uses rain water for toilet flushing and in England, East Midlands Airport requires all airport vehicles to undergo emissions testing.
How many times do we return from a trip, unpack our cases and find that we have items that we didn’t wear or a selection of toiletries that are still quite full? When we travel, many of us fear to forget an essential item but, when we travel for business (or for pleasure for that matter!) we tend to travel to areas of the world where we can pick up consumable items like toothpaste and deodorant or a jumper if it is colder than we expected, so leave the unnecessary things at home.
A plane’s fuel usage is directly affected by the amount of luggage it is holding so if you can cut the weight of your luggage by a few kilos, or better yet, just take carry-on luggage, you’re helping the environment.
Look at your travel supply chain
Seek out travel suppliers who adopt a more environmentally-friendly approach to business. Fly with an airline who genuinely care about their carbon footprint and consider a car hire company who supply electric or hybrid vehicles. By ensuring your travel supply chain is green you can feel more confident that your business is doing what it can to help the environment.
Schedule meetings back to back
If you have a few people to meet in several cities, plan the trips back to back. While this is a more tiring option, it will save you time, resources and maybe even money by not flying home in between meetings.
There is a whole host of green, environmentally friendly hotels for you to stay in. If there isn’t a green hotel available when you need one, ensure you do everything that you can to use fewer resources – hanging your towel up if it doesn’t need washing, lowering the thermostat and turning off the lights when you leave the room – just because you’re not paying the electric bills doesn’t mean that you should leave the lights on.
We regularly travel for business and believe that meeting people face to face is often essential, but if can hold a meeting over the internet using a programme such as Skype, you save yourself time, effort and money while helping the environment.