Sustainable Business Travel

How to make your business travel more sustainable in 3 simple steps

Discover three simple tips to make your business travel more sustainable, while cutting costs and reducing carbon emissions at the same time!

Introduction: Identifying the biggest source of emissions 

If you’re travelling frequently for work, your emissions can quickly add up, and aside from eliminating business travel altogether (which for most businesses is unrealistic), you may be wondering what other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and make your business travel more sustainable. 

There is no getting around the fact that air travel is the single most polluting part of your trip, so taking steps to reduce those emissions can really make a difference to your total carbon footprint.

If we take the example of a round-trip, business class flight from Copenhagen to New York City, your flight alone will emit around 5.0 tonnes of CO2e, whereas the emissions for your hotel stay and meals for a five-night trip count for only around 0.2 tCO2e.


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(Source: Goodwings' carbon calculator)

So how do you reduce your travel emissions?

Here are 3 practical sustainable travel tips that can really make a difference to your emissions totals, and to your bottom line!

1. Switch to economy

2. Travel a day ahead
3. Invest in climate projects


1. Switch to economy

We know that for many business travelers, switching from business class to economy class is a big ask. This is particularly true if you’re travelling for work and need the space to put the finishing touches on that presentation or get some rest before the big meeting. But there are not only cost benefits to traveling economy - saving you between US$ 1,800 - 3,000 on your airfare, but also you’ll be reducing your emissions significantly.  

2. Travel a day ahead

To compensate for traveling economy and to ensure you start your business trip feeling fresh, consider traveling one day earlier. This gives you time to recover from the flight, adjust to the new time zone, and de-stress. The average cost for a three to four star hotel room in, let's say, New York ranges from around US$ 250-350 per night, so it’s perfectly reasonable to use some of the savings from your air travel for a bit of bleisure

3. Invest in climate projects

Finally, use the savings from your trip to invest in climate action. When you’re considering which climate projects to invest in, the most important thing you can do is to ensure that you’re investing in high quality projects, because they’re not all on the same level. You can do this in a number of ways, but here are two impactful solutions.

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
    Investing in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a great option because it emits approximately 80% less net CO2 emissions compared to traditional jet fuel, by lifecycle assessment.  A US$ 85 investment in SAF is approximately the same as reducing 8-16% of the CO2 emissions from a Copenhagen to New York economy-class flight. 

  • Verified tree-planting projects
    When you’re looking at tree-planting projects, make sure that planting and growth are verified by qualified third parties and that they’re being planted in areas that were previously deforested (where trees were cut down) or places that never had trees in the first place. These two options are called "afforestation" and "reforestation" and they counteract the loss of forest coverage by making sure that there’s new tree growth instead of just “saving” existing forests (which is called “avoided deforestation”). 

The bottom line:

Yes, business travel is often necessary, but there are simple ways of reducing your emissions, if you're willing to make small changes to the way you travel. There are also a number of useful tools that can help you get an overview of your travel emissions and help you reduce them at the same time. 

Travel less, but better with Goodwings

Speak to one of the team today to learn how!


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