Business travel

10 ways to Green Your Business travel

Living out of a suitcase is a way of life for many business people. But there are simple steps you can employ from your choice of hotel, rental car and even food choices on the road, that go a long way to cutting your eco-impact.

  1. Use teleconferencing services

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    Go green by selecting a meeting "method" that doesn't involve travel such as phone or online conferencing.

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  2. Travel by train or bus

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    Avoid the long security lines at the airport and book a ticket on a train or intercity bus. Your trip will leave a lower carbon footprint and you might even enjoy the slower pace.

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  3. Fly on airlines with sustainable policies and practices

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    From recycling to carbon offsets, some airlines are promoting policies that mitigate air travel’s environmental impacts. Find out if your frequent flyer miles are flying green!

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  4. Choose a green hotel

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    Leverage your green business muscle when choosing corporate hotel partners. Gauge their eco-commitment and make it known that green matters to you and your employees.

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  5. Offset your office energy and travel emissions

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    Even the most energy-efficient business can't run emissions-free. For those inevitable emissions (from, say, winging it to Los Angeles or powering your office), there are carbon offsets to help you and your company get down to zero.

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  6. Drive a green rental car

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    Think green and fuel-efficient the next time you're at the rental counter.

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  7. Take public transportation

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    Opting for public transit instead of short-distance solo business driving means more passengers per vehicle and a smaller eco-travelprint.

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  8. Walk or ride your bike

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    Next time you meet clients for lunch or attend an off-site meeting, choose to self-propel. You'll enjoy the exercise, without gym fees, and reduce carbon emissions, too.

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  9. Hire a green limo or car service

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    Whether you're going to the airport to catch a flight or shuttling to and from your hotel, hire an eco-friendly car service to get you there in green style.

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  10. Save energy at home while you travel

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    If you're leaving behind an empty home, remember to unplug!

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Comments

10/02/2008
12:45pm
enviro.aero

This is a great resource for people wishing to green their lives, but we need to ensure that the facts are correct... for example, air travel accounts for 2% of world CO2 emissions (UN IPCC figures), definately not 7%.

Regarding the 3-4 tonnes of CO2 from a return flight to Europe... in fact, a round-trip New York to Frankfurt emits around 832kg of CO2 and a Los Angeles to Frankfurt round-trip emits around 1,239kgs.

Clearly, these figures are still too high for people wishing to lead greener lifestyles, but the aviation industry is heavily involved in ensuring it becomes more sustainable. In fact, it could be argued that our industry has done and is doing more to reduce our emissions than most other sectors. The air transport industry has established the website www.enviro.aero to open up the debate about aviation's climate change impact and profile just some of the ways in which the industry is making progress.

Haldane Dodd
Air Transport Action Group, Geneva

10/01/2008
3:14pm
Mateo

Haldane, thanks for that valuable contribution. it does look like the 7% figure is dated. the most credible figure i can find is 3.3% (contribution of aviation sector to global warming) published by WRI and IPCC. check out the link here:
http://www.wri.org/chart/us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-flow-chart
also, great to know that enviro.aero is engaging the public to discuss all the issues surrounding the industry and the solutions ahead!

01/26/2009
3:22pm
elizabaer

On the % of GHG emissions figure in question, it's important to distinguish between CO2 and ALL GHGS. Air travel, as an industry, contributes about 1.6% of all GHGs (globally), but closer to 2% when considering CO2 alone (also globally). In the US, as the link Mateo sent shows, aviation contributes about 3.3% of all US GHGs, but closer to 4% of CO2 alone. Neither of these figures distinguishes between business travel and all other travel, so business travel impacts would be smaller.

On the "controversy" around carbon offsetting and standards to ensure quality: an important standard for ensuring the quality of land-based projects (such as reforestation and prevention of deforestation) is the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standard: www.climate-standards.org

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