Corporate travel is often criticised for its heavy carbon footprint. Frequent long-haul flights, hotel stays and ground transport cannot help but take their toll, but there are ways to reduce your environmental impact.
Consider your flight
Skyscanner highlights eco-friendly flights with a green leaf symbol, taking into consideration fuel consumption based on the type of aircraft, its seating capacity and whether the flight has a stopover. As a rule of thumb, fly economy class non-stop on an airline with a newer fleet.
Stay in Budget accommodation
If you can, stay in a newly built hotel that has smaller rooms (and so is more efficient) and that uses fewer disposable amenities (toiletry dispensers in the shower rather than travel-size bottles).
Use public transport
Once you’ve reached your destination, rent an electric vehicle or use bicycles and public transport to get around the city.
Limit plastic use
Carrying a reusable water bottle saves money and is environmentally friendly. Hotels often have water fountains, while many international airports have free water dispensers. When offered a plastic bottle of water, refuse it. And that means saying “no”, not throwing it in the bin.
Buy eco-friendly sun cream
Many sun creams contain oxybenzone, a chemical that causes harm to coral reefs by increasing their susceptibility to bleaching. NGO Marine Life has found that oceans are currently filled with approximately 82,000 chemicals. Hotel and spa group Six Senses is launching a resort-wide ban on selling these sun creams from September. It will instead promote 100 per cent reef-safe alternatives, packaged in plant-based or fully compostable packaging.
Use surplus air miles for carbon offsetting
Air miles expiring soon? Use them to offset the carbon emissions from your flights.
Eat local produce
Farm-to-fork dining is a twofold gain, supporting the local economy and limiting carbon emissions from transporting the food long distances. Many hotels now use locally sourced kitchen ingredients, or even grow their own produce on site.
Act as you would at home
Limit indulgent behaviour – take shorter showers, reuse your towel and don’t use the robes and slippers if your stay is brief; consider bringing your own from home to use.
Use an eco-friendly backpack
For example, Tumi’s Recycled Capsule collection made from recycled fibres that was launched in the Asia-Pacific region in April. This new collection delivers popular styles from the brand’s Alpha Bravo collection made with post-industrial and post-consumer waste materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Do your research and speak up
Now Transforming Travel, a global community raising the bar on transparency and accountability, can steer you in the right direction. The website lists 45 eco-friendly hotels, many certified by Earthcheck, and lists tough questions that guests should ask hotels before booking.