Will sustainable business travel be the silver lining in all of this? — TripActions Community

Will sustainable business travel be the silver lining in all of this?

Let's not sugarcoat it...things are **** at the moment. This global pandemic is causing misery across the globe. So in these dark times, I'm looking for some light and how we can take ANYTHING positive from this crisis.

For me and my industry, I hope that this recent outbreak forces us to think about sustainability. Businesses are functioning without the need for any travel at the moment. It is FAR from ideal and the show is slower, but still going on.

When this passes (and it will pass) how are business going to react having proven they can survive without travel? Will they take steps to continue a travel reduction and how will they sustainably manage the travel they do book?

All of these questions might be for tomorrow, but one thing that I'm sure of is that TMC's will still have their part to play and as an industry, we will need to provide the tools that allow business to make these decisions.

As with a number of industries, I believe data will be king. But what data will Travel Manages want to see and what tools will they need to manage a radically different travel program?

I'm keen to hear from the forum on where they think TMC's will fit into the future of sustainable business travel.

Stay safe!


  • I think TMCs will have less of a part. People will travel if their governments and society allows it. Flight-shaming won't be a thing of the past, I think it will get worse. So who's going to solve it?

    Airlines - maybe a huge drive toward carbon neutrality?

    Innovators - something like a solar powered plane, or at least far more efficient transport (think mag-lift rail or hyperloops in long run?)

    Governments - bringing forward climate and emissions targets and legislation, to push different behaviours from the industry?

    It's a pinch for everyone involved, until someone creates something genuinely groundbreaking that actually lets people travel without impacting the environment. And they will make a lot of money.

  • I believe that sustainability will be a grassroots-led movement. It appears that consumers are becoming more aware of the impact that our daily activities has on the environment, and I am hopeful that new and innovative ways of travel will emerge from this difficult time. Ones that, in addition to make travel safer, will make it easier on the environment.

  • @samantha11 totally agree that sustainability will be a grassroots movement. Out of interest are you based in the US? I'm learning that there is quite a 'sustainability gap' between Europe and the US and Europe seems to be a couple of years ahead on this. The notable exception to this being states like California.

    @OHopkins I think you're 100% correct on https://hyperloop-one.com/. I think we'll see an acceleration (no pun intended) in development. I also see it fitting in with the ideal of airport super hubs. For example, you checkin and pass security in Manchester. Then jump on the Hyperloop to the London airport and be there in 20mins. So small regional airports will become a thing of the past and reduce the carbon impact of actually getting to an airport.

  • For those interested, there have already been 2 editions of a new event called CACTUS (Climate Action for Corporate Travel Urgent Sustainability Summit) in London.

    This article by BTN Europe summarizes what has been shared during the first edition in 2019. More than 60 delegates heard a series of presentations from organisations including Microsoft (click here to read about their 'portfolio approach' to sustainable travel), the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, SkyNRG and the Carbon Disclosure Project at the summit.

    The event was listed in the Buying Business Travel Hotlist (UK) 2020.

    A second edition was held in February 2020 in London -hosted by LinkedIn. My colleague Helen Hodgkinson is one of the founders of CACTUS. If you're interested to talk further about this topic and what has been shared, let me know!

  • @Aurelie_Krau I attended the CACTUS event in Feb and found it really interesting! Please do let me know when the next event will be taking place.

  • Aurelie_KrauAurelie_Krau admin
    edited April 2020

    I couldn't attend but I've heard positive feedback. I will let you know @Ashton! The team is thinking about creating a LinkedIn page, so you will be able to follow updates.

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