Continuing our series exploring Bioregional’s ten principles of One Planet Living, sustainable travel and transport takes the spotlight this month. Can business travel and transport ever be sustainable?
Considering that one will always leave a footprint, be it from the journey itself or the waste produced along the way, is sustainable travel achievable? For us, sustainable travel means making conscious decisions about the travel requirements that we can control.
Many businesses have transport needs that are essential for the day-to-day running of the business which cannot be completely controlled such as using a courier for deliveries. However, staff business travel can certainly be controlled or managed in such a way that it has the least impact on the environment as possible.
Business travel is inevitable, but here are five tips to ensure that your business travel leaves a minimal footprint behind:
1. Digital Meetings
In a world where workplaces are becoming more dispersed with staff working from home or remotely, it makes sense to use videoconferencing or teleconferencing to conduct meetings.
Not only does it save precious time by cutting out travel, but it also reduces carbon emissions from fuel use and staff mileage claims resulting in reduced business costs. It’s a win-win!
2. Smart Route Planning
If your business is involved in goods distribution, an efficient route plan is essential. All in all, route planners cut transportation mileage and therefore costs, helps you get to your customers more efficiently and on time, and increases the number of destinations you can reach in a day. A route plan will also ensure that scope one carbon emissions are reduced, thus reducing your business’ overall footprint.
3. Book a Flight Without a Transfer
Sometimes, booking a flight with a transfer saves a lot of money which can be too good to refuse. However, with a transfer you often take a detour and travel longer distances, which results in higher carbon emissions. Try to book flights with as few transfers as financially practical and choose the nearest airport for efficient air travel.
4. Fly Economy Class
It may not be the most comfortable choice, but it is kinder to the environment as well as your pocket. Flying business or first class offers more luxury and space, and the more space you take up as a passenger means that you pay more in carbon emissions.
5. Encourage Carpooling or Use Public Transport
We all know that we should strive to walk or cycle to work, however this is not possible for many of us as we may live far from work, or we simply feel unsafe. An alternative would be to use public transport to reduce carbon emissions however this is also not the safest or most reliable option.
Carpooling is the next best solution. Conduct a carpool survey amongst your staff – you may be surprised how many of your staff live in the same area. Encourage your staff to create lift clubs and carpool to work with an incentive such as a prize at the end of the year for those who carpool.
By implementing a low-carbon mindset, your business can easily reduce its travel footprint and minimize its overall impact on the environment.
Want to learn more about how you can make your business more sustainable? Why not have our Sustainability Officer get in contact with you and explain the various services available.