In a world that is heating up before our eyes, where climate change has taken center stage, it is no surprise that sustainability has become a major priority for businesses of all sizes. Indeed, the push to be sustainable is not limited to eco-conscious consumers, it has become a concern that resonates with companies and customers alike.
But don’t just take my word for it.
The recent SAP Concur Global Business Travel Survey confirms this sentiment, highlighting that sustainability, especially with regard to business travel, continues to be a top priority for businesses, customers, and employees alike.
The Sustainability Imperative
The fact is, sustainability is not just a buzzword; it has become a fundamental value and shift in the way we collectively think about our impact on the environment and the future of the planet. From individuals to multinational corporations, the importance of sustainability cannot be overstated.
And this is especially true for your business. Being green and sustainable, and acting and travelling in a sustainable way is important, not just for the environment, but for your business’ bottom like. Consider:
- Brand Reputation: Sustainable practices enhance a business’ reputation. Customers are more likely to support businesses that prioritize sustainability.
- Cost Savings: Sustainable practices often lead to cost savings through reduced energy consumption and resource usage.
- Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Many governments, local, state, and federal, are imposing stricter environmental regulations. Compliance in that case is not just a moral choice, it is a legal imperative.
But sustainability is not important to your bottom line, it is important to your employees and customers as well.
Consider this for starters: According to the SAP Concur Travel Survey, nearly all small and medium business business travelers say that it is important to have sustainability information for each travel option when booking their business travel (94%.) Further, they indicated that they are planning to act in the next 12 months to reduce the environmental impact of their travel (94%).
Beyond that, employees find being in a sustainable workplace generally, and one that prioritizes sustainable travel specifically, an important consideration. People are increasingly aware of their ethical responsibility towards the environment and they want to minimize their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, greener world.
They therefore expect their employer to take such issues seriously too.
That same value consideration applies to your customers. More and more, consumers (and especially younger ones) don’t just consider cost and value when making purchasing decisions, they often take into account a company’s ethics, values, and actions; if they are not in alignment, the consumer will shop elsewhere.
Nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to the environment and sustainability. Customers increasingly favor products and services from environmentally responsible companies.
Sustainability is a selling point.
Reducing Your Business Travel Carbon Footprint
Given all of this, lowering your business travel carbon footprint is not only environmentally responsible, not only an increasing ethical imperative, but it is also financially prudent.
How do you do that? The Concur travel survey had some smart suggestions:
- Encourage employees to make transportation-related efforts: The use of bikes, alternative travel methods, and public transportation helps.
- Combine nearby trips into one longer trip.
- Eco-conscious Accommodations: Choose hotels and accommodations that have implemented sustainable practices. Look for certifications like LEED or Green Key, and use room laundry service less frequently.
Beyond those, here are a few additional strategies:
- Eco-friendly Transportation: opt for eco-friendly transportation options such as electric vehicles or public transportation. Consider using shared ride services to reduce the number of individual trips.
- Carbon Offsetting: Invest in carbon offset programs to balance out the emissions from your company’s business travel. Many organizations offer opportunities to support renewable energy or reforestation projects.
- Travel Policies: Implement travel policies that encourage sustainable choices, such as booking direct flights to reduce emissions from layovers.
- Paperless Travel: Utilize digital tools for booking, itinerary management, and expense reporting. Concur Travel, for example, provides paperless options for travel management.
Concur Travel: Pioneering Sustainable Business Travel
As sustainability takes precedence, businesses are seeking partners that align with their green values. Our friends at Concur Travel are leading the way by integrating sustainability into business travel management:
- Carbon Emissions Tracking: Concur Travel provides tools to track and report carbon emissions associated with business travel. This data allows businesses to understand their environmental impact better.
- Sustainability Recommendations: The platform offers suggestions for sustainable travel options, such as light choices with lower emissions.
- Integration with Carbon Offset Programs: Concur Travel seamlessly integrates with carbon offset programs, making it easy for businesses to contribute to sustainability initiatives.
- Paperless Solutions: Concur Travel’s paperless solutions reduce the need for printed itineraries and receipts, minimizing paper waste.
- Travel Policy Customization: Businesses can customize travel policies within Concur Travel to encourage sustainable choices and ensure compliance.
While the issue of the environment and need for sustainability is undoubtedly serious, the good news is that it is easier than ever to make smart choices. And even better: Doing so is good for everyone – your team, your business, your bottom line, and the planet.
This blog is sponsored in partnership with SAP Concur. To learn more about how SAP Concur can support your business go to https://www.concur.com/en-us/small-business.