Sustainable Business Travel

How the top 5 travel management systems rate on sustainability

Discover the top 5 travel management systems and how they rate on sustainability. Learn about their features, including carbon accounting and emissions offsets.

You may have noticed that travel management companies have started adding sustainability features to their offering. This is being driven by businesses that are facing increased pressure to report on their emissions and comply with the CSRD (Corporate Social Responsibility Directive). But it's not just compliance - businesses are more aware than ever about the financial and reputational benefits of taking climate action too. But whatever the incentive, its great news for the planet, because it means there are now even more ways for businesses to integrate climate tools into their everyday operations.

But as you’ll discover, not all sustainability features are created equal. We looked at the top 5 travel management systems and found that they all cover the basics such as emissions tracking. But where they fall short is offering real-time analysis of business travel emissions (and how to reduce them), or credible options to offset or reduce. In this article, we’ll give you the inside track on the top 5 corporate travel management solutions, and how they rate on sustainability. 


The top 5 travel management sustainability features:


Goodwings-logo-green 3000px







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Carbon Accounting and Reporting
Predictive AI Recommendations        
Optional CO2 Reductions with SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel)         
Optional CO2 Offsets with Reforestation  
CO2 Dashboard 


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Navan (formerly TripActions)

The bottom line: “Navan offers a great and intuitive way to collecting emissions data, but you’ll need to find another way of offsetting or reducing your business travel emissions.”
Emissions Reductions with SAF? No
Emissions Offsets with Reforestation? No

Navan is a travel management system and expense solution that caters to both small to medium sized businesses (30-200 employees) as well as enterprises (250+ employees). In 2022, they introduced a “Sustainability Suite” to help their customers track their carbon emissions. While these features are good for getting an overall picture of your business travel emissions, they don’t include emissions offsetting or reductions as part of the package. Here’s a look at some of the sustainability features they do offer.


The bottom line

"Navan offers a great and intuitive way to collect emissions data, but you’ll need to find another way of offsetting or reducing your business travel emissions."

Sustainability features they offer:
  • Emissions dashboard and reporting
    While this is not really a stand out feature in today’s competitive carbon accounting market, having an emissions dashboard is a helpful way to get an assessment of your business travel emissions, which are then organized by department or travel type. It tracks things like air travel and hotel stays, giving an overall picture of your business travel emissions.

  • Sustainable booking prompts
    Navan has introduced a feature called “Train vs Plane” which gives you an emissions estimate for the type of transport you’ve chosen, and encourages you (where possible) to take the train instead of a plane. This way of “gamifying” the booking flow is helpful to educate employees on their emissions totals and encourages compliance with a corporate sustainable travel policy.

  • Carbon emissions budget
    Setting a carbon emissions budget, or “internal price of carbon” (based on either how much you’ve traveled as a business in the past, or by using Navan or industry benchmarks), allows you to assign your own budget to spend on carbon offsetting or reduction projects. This does help increase accountability, but you will still need to find and fund these initiatives yourself, so its not a one-stop solution. 


Navan is first and foremost a travel management and expense solution, which is what they're known for, but sustainability is not a central part of their core offering. So if you’re interested in a tool that tracks your emissions, this is a great option, but if you’ve set sustainability targets and need to reduce or offset your emissions, it doesn't go far enough.


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GreenPerk (part of TravelPerk)

The bottom line: GreenPerk goes beyond just collecting data which makes them a competitive choice, but additional fees apply and climate projects vary in quality." 
Emissions Reductions with SAF? No
Emissions Offsets with Reforestation? Yes

Greenperk was launched in 2020 as the sustainable add-on to TravelPerk - the travel management system based out of Barcelona serving small to medium sized companies. As a TravelPerk customer, you can get GreenPerk added to your membership, but there are some costs involved in the offsetting part of this feature.  


The bottom line

“GreenPerk goes beyond just collecting data which makes them a competitive choice, but additional fees apply and climate projects vary in quality." 


Sustainability features they offer:
  • Optional carbon offsetting 
    GreenPerk charges a €10 fee for every tonne of CO2 (or 1% of the total booking amount) to offset your business travel emissions, including flights, hotels, trains and cars, through a portfolio of climate projects. If we take a 5 night trip from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK (flying business class), you would emit on average 4.5 tons of CO2, so you would pay around €45 on top of your business travel costs to offset that amount. 

  • Emissions dashboard and reporting
    In the reporting tab of TravelPerk, you can get an overview of your emissions by the type of transport and route you’ve taken - this is not exclusive to GreenPerk as TravelPerk clients can see this as well. The data is downloadable as a “GreenPerk carbon footprint report”. As with Navan, an emissions dashboard is a great way of analyzing your business travel emissions, but most travel management systems offer this now, so it's not a stand out feature. 

  • Certificate to show offsets
    TravelPerk’s customers get a certificate / badge to show that they’ve participated in a carbon offsetting scheme which is great, but there’s a downside - customers don't receive any third party tracking links or proof that their emissions have been offset in their company’s name. And the certificate you get from GreenPerk is not official, so you may lack credibility if you need it for your investor or climate reports.

GreenPerk is doing more than just calculating business travel emissions which makes them a competitive choice, but their portfolio of offsetting projects varies in quality. Added to that, the customer still needs to pay to contribute to these projects, which may not be the best nor most transparent financial investment if there is little visibility as to where the money ends up. GreenPerk do have Verra registered projects (the leading standard for climate projects), but some of these are Redd+ projects, which is a forest related offset called “avoidance” / “avoided reforestation”, which have come under heavy criticism for their efficacy. It's therefore worth investigating which offsets your business will be contributing to if you go with GreenPerk.



Amex GBT Egencia

The bottom line: Great for increasing awareness around sustainabitlity, but only acts as an intermediary for offsetting schemes"
Emissions Reductions with SAF? No
Emissions Offsets with Reforestation? Yes

Amex GBT Egencia (formerly known as Egencia) is one of the world’s biggest travel management companies. Founded in 2002, it was bought by American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) in 2021. When it comes to sustainability, they’re a little more like Navan than TravelPerk, because they’re more focussed on educating employees on their business travel footprint and tracking those emissions rather than reducing or offsetting.  


The bottom line

"Great for increasing awareness around sustainability, but only acts as an intermediary between the customer and offsetting schemes."

Sustainability features they offer:
  • Optional carbon emissions budgets 
    Just like Navan, Amex GBT Egencia has a feature where you can assign a “fixed price of carbon”, which means a set amount of money that you will contribute to reducing or offsetting your emissions with every tonne of CO2 that you emit. You still get a say in where the money goes though. Amex GBT Egencia puts the emissions budget towards a sustainability project of your choice, effectively acting as a middleman between your company and the project. These include Climate Neutral Group (CNG), atmosfair and Climate Partner.

  • Sustainable booking prompts 
    Egencia has a feature that allows you to “add restrictions to your business travel policy”, essentially acting as a sustainability enforcer to your corporate travel policy. One way this differs from the others is that it allows you to compare flights to train routes in Norway, Spain, Sweden Belgium, France, UK, and the US.

  • “Analytics Studio”
    As part of their broader analytics studio, their offset calculator allows you to track your carbon footprint across your business travel. This feature gives businesses an assessment of their carbon emissions by department and type of travel. 

Amex GBT Egencia are first and foremost a business travel management and expense solution, and while they do well at helping business travelers make more sustainable decisions when they travel for work, customers still need to pay additional fees to offset their emissions which then just go to one of their third party suppliers. So when it comes to sustainability, it's not a seamless or transparent operation.



SAP Concur

The bottom line: "Good at educating employees to choose more sustainable business travel options, even if sustainability is not a core part of their offering"
Emissions Reductions with SAF? No
Emissions Offsets with Reforestation? Yes (but at an additional cost)

SAP Concur provides travel and expense management services to businesses of all sizes, although mostly larger enterprise customers. Predominantly focussed on their core area of expertise which is travel and expense management, they have some sustainability add ons, even though it’s not central part of their business, nor what they have become known for. 



"Good at educating employees to choose more sustainable travel options, even if sustainability is not a core part of their offering."

Sustainability features they offer:
  • Sustainability prompts
    Business travel managers have the option to integrate their own sustainable travel policy into the booking features, so that employees are both aware of their footprint when they’re traveling, but also can opt for greener, more sustainable travel options if the company has set these guidelines up. 

  • Carbon reporting
    SAP Concur allows you to track your emissions by giving you an overview of your travel activity by segment, department, route, country and type of travel (e.g short haul or long haul) in a dashboard. As with Navan and GreenPerk, having the option to report on your travel emissions is a great start, but most travel management companies offer this now. 

  • Optional carbon emissions budgets 
    Like Navan, SAP Concur gives businesses the option to set a “carbon offset donation” amount into their travel budget which is then used to fund NGOs and local green energy initiatives through Jet Set Offset. This is a great initiative, but you'll still need to allocate a budget to fund the initiatives yourself, and the projects on offer are not "additional".

SAP Concur offer all the emissions tracking features that you could now expect from a business travel management system, so they don't stand out from Navan, Amex GBT Egencia or GreenPerk. While the projects listed on the Jet Set Offset will certainly have a local impact, their carbon offset donation scheme is not a standout feature because the projects on offer are not "additional". 




The bottom line: "The best option for businesses that are serious about reducing the climate impact of their travel" 
Emissions Reductions with SAF? Yes
Emissions Offsets with Reforestation? Yes

Goodwings is a climate-focussed travel management system for small to medium sized businesses. It features an emissions dashboard that gives users real-time data to make more informed travel decisions in line with their company's sustainability efforts or reduction targets. 


The bottom line

"The best options for businesses that are serious about reducing the impact of their travel"


What you can expect from Goodwings:

Now that we've explored what the market has to offer, here's a quick look at what you can expect from a sustainable travel management system like Goodwings

  • Intelligent travel policies  

The best way of reducing business travel costs and emissions is to implement sustainable travel policies into your travel management system. Goodwings' intuitve booking tool allows you to set a maximum CO2 amount per flight, as well as restrictions on classes of travel and hotels as well as, for example, specifying electric car rentals, so that you stop emissions before they happen. 

  • Predictive AI-recommendations

By gathering emissions data and analyzing your company's travel behaviors, Goodwings can make AI-powered recommendations for how to reduce travel emissions by, for example, changing the class of travel or taking the train for shorter distances or domestic trips.

  • Quality emissions data for ESG reporting

Having travel emissions data from high quality sources is one of the most important ways to ensure the integrity of your climate and ESG reporting, and avoid expensive mistakes. At Goodwings, we calculate all the data from your company's travel and organize it in a central dashboard for you to download at any time.   

  • Emissions tracking for more than just flights

Most travel management systems just track flights and hotels, but there are a lot of emissions that fall through the cracks, such as metro and taxi rides. Goodwings looks at every single part of the journey so nothing falls through the cracks, and you get the full picture of how much you're emitting from start to finish. 


  • Full and credible documentation

Reducing and offsetting emissions is good, but if it can't be backed up by the right documentation, it doesn't pass the test. With Goodwings' option to offset and reduce your travel emissions, you'll get a full paper trail with third party links to verify that your emissions have been offset and reduced to the highest standards. 



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