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Smart travel policies are keeping corporate flights below pre-COVID levels

Dec 22, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

 

Green travel policies appear to be taking a major bite out of corporate demand for flights, according to a new report from the Transport & Environment think tank.

Released as part of its Travel Smart campaign, the study analyzed air travel emissions from 217 of the world’s largest corporates between 2019 and 2022. It found that just under half the companies assessed kept their air travel emissions to less than 50 percent of pre-COVID levels in 2022.

Some leading corporates delivered sharp reductions in levels of flying, with German software giant cutting aviation emissions by 86 percent, global pharmaceutical firm Pfizer emissions by 78 percent and consulting powerhouse PwC delivering a 76 percent reduction.

Overall, business aviation emissions for the cohort studied declined by a total of 51 percent between 2019 and 2022.

The results highlighted how virtual meetings and rail travel can slash demand for corporate flights without compromising commercial performance.

The Travel Smart campaign said the results highlighted how virtual meetings and rail travel can slash demand for corporate flights without compromising commercial performance. It added that emissions from business travel need to fall by 50 percent this decade in order to help the aviation industry move on to a 1.5C compatible decarbonization pathway.

However, the report also showed how some corporates have allowed the number of corporate flights to rebound back to pre-pandemic levels.

The analysis confirmed 21 of the businesses assessed exceeded pre-2019 levels of flying in 2022, while a number of high profile firms such as JP Morgan Chase, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson are edging closer towards pre-2019 levels.

It’s a positive picture to see so many companies not returning to pre-2019 levels of flying.

“Overall it’s a positive picture to see so many companies not returning to pre-2019 levels of flying,” said Denise Auclair, Travel Smart campaign manager. “Lessons from the pandemic have been learnt: the way forward is collaboration with more online meetings, more travel by train and less by plane. But it’s dismaying to see still too many companies returning to excessive flying for business with so little concern for the planet. The start of 2024 is the perfect time for new corporate resolutions to put the old, high-flying days behind us.”

She added that corporates that fail to take steps to curb their emissions can expect to face increased pressure from regulators, highlighting a recent move from the Dutch government to require businesses to report on their transport emissions.

“The era of uncontrolled business flying is coming to an end,” she said. “Governments are taking notice and cracking down on unnecessary flights. This makes sense for the planet but also for the businesses themselves, who can cut costs and prioritise the well-being of their employees.”

The post "Smart travel policies are keeping corporate flights below pre-COVID levels" appeared first on Green Biz

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