Several travel management companies (TMCs) in Germany have successfully reduced clients’ carbon emissions related to business travel after participating in a pilot programme earlier this year by the German Business Travel Association (VDR).
The association said it has received “positive feedback” following the pilot of its ‘climate-friendly business trips through consistent CO2 reduction’ initiative, which was announced last November and features an eight-step programme to help companies implement a sustainable travel policy and achieve “both short- and long-term sustainability goals”.
Agencies that participated in the pilot are among the largest in Germany, according to BTN Europe’s Leading TMCs 2022 report. These include ADAC Reisevertrieb, Amex GBT, ATG Travel Deutschland, BCD Travel Germany, CWT, Derpart Travel Service, Egencia, FCM Travel and Lufthansa City Center.
In a statement VDR said the TMCs “were able to identify and implement concrete measures” with pilot customers, which “made it possible to reduce CO2 footprint while still maintaining operational mobility”.
Project manager, Ludger Bals, added: “We would like to motivate companies and market participants with a template and description of the processes to follow the eight-step model in order to further pave and promote the way to sustainable business travel.”
“We are also reducing complexity and creating more transparency in this area,” he said.
The end-to-end programme, according to the association, begins by assessing the purpose of a trip, followed by “goal-oriented planning and intelligent booking” to help travellers choose ‘greener’ alternatives. It also features ‘transparent billing’ that should include CO2 values, as well as the calculation and compensation of the trip’s carbon footprint.
The final steps cover sustainable purchasing and ensuring metrics align with the company’s wider sustainability targets.
The association said: “By implementing this template, a company can demonstrably reduce the carbon footprint associated with business travel.
“The positive feedback from the pilot companies shows that there is a great demand for universal action plans for sustainable processes and that VDR is on the right track with this project – towards a “green” business trip.”
The pilot was conducted in cooperation with consultancy firm Intelligent Business Concepts, and supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection as part of its LIFT Klima funding scheme for sustainable innovation in the travel and tourism sector.