< PrevNext > When Trends Collide: Sustainability & Personalization By Tripism CEO Adam Kerr / January 24, 2020 Share With climate change in the news daily, there’s no question an increasing number of employees worry about the environmental footprint of their business travel. Many would happily make greener travel choices if that information was presented to them alongside rich, personalized supplier content. I’m hopeful this decade will link the dual trends of sustainability and personalization and potentially deliver huge benefits to both the environment and the traveler experience. Over the last decade, corporate travel teams have been responsible for significant carbon-reduction initiatives within the enterprise. Great gains remain to be made if we empower business travelers to make travel choices that better reflect their personal values and are also better for the wider environment. In the last few years, the International Air Transport Association has created basic industry standards for aviation emissions. A few solution providers like KDS Neo have integrated a green option into the online booking tool, allowing users to choose routes based on low emissions, rather than cost or journey time. But sustainability is about so much more than carbon emissions and right now, it’s the wild west when it comes to defining what counts as “green.” Travel suppliers by and large are using their own metrics to measure and communicate wider sustainability. This free-for-all confuses travelers and leaves the industry at risk of so-called “greenwashing.”If we’re going to see business travelers embrace sustainable choices en masse, we urgently need an industrywide push, with perhaps GBTA or ACTE getting behind the challenge to create standards. These standards need to go beyond a traveler’s carbon footprint. They need to account for supplier water usage, policies on single-use plastics, reliance on non-renewable energy, commitment on food miles—the audit goes on. For now, it’s left to corporate travel teams to try and put the pieces together to advise business travelers. That advice is bound to be piecemeal at best and, crucially, travel teams have no way of presenting that information when the traveler most needs it—at the point of booking. Most booking platforms have done a bad job at providing actionable information on sustainable travel choices. Business travelers need comparative emissions information on flight routes, rail routes presented alongside flights, the option to hire electric cars and to stay in carbon-neutral hotels. It’s not enough to tick the green box. And how many would happily forgo the a free newspaper at their hotel or access to an airline lounge in exchange for the greater benefit of a tree being planted to help offset their trip? There’s a new generation placing more value on reducing their carbon footprint than on whether they fly silver or gold. If businesses and their travel suppliers can get this right, they’ll be able to recruit new talent from a position of strength and win a new, greener kind of loyalty from their employees and customers. And the planet will thank them for it.