Climate Consciousness and Sustainability Technology Today
One thing we learned early on during the Covid-19 pandemic is that the actions of individuals can make significant positive impacts on the environment. When commuter traffic practically disappeared in 2020, positive environmental effects followed almost immediately.
This experience has rekindled awareness and a sense of urgency around reducing our carbon footprints, and companies have an opportunity to be leaders in this arena. Luckily, technology is providing more tools than ever to achieve climate-conscious travel.
This year, Deem hosted a sustainability panel in which industry experts explored sustainability trends in corporate travel and the solutions that enable them. The panel was moderated by Deem’s VP of Marketing, Tahnee Perry, and featured Deem’s Director of Product, Alexa Buffum, and Aspirational Future’s CEO, Dr. Sally Eaves.
The group explored individuals’ changing priorities when it comes to sustainability, how those attitudes are impacting businesses and corporate travel, and the sustainability feature in Etta business travel software from Deem that makes climate conscious business travel a breeze.
Employee expectations are changing
According to this BTN survey, 66% of employees now expect their employer to make more sustainable options available to them, and nearly three quarters of those travelers want employers to provide clearer information on the climate impact of their business travel.
The desire for information that would enable greener travel isn’t new. In fact, the idea of conscious consumerism has been trending for years. But as employees garner more agency and power than ever, it’s the expectation of the workplace that’s changed.
Businesses must reflect their workers’ values if they want to compete for top talent.
Technology for sustainability
One solution helping business travelers to move more sustainably is EcoCheck. EcoCheck makes it simple to consider carbon impacts when booking flights, hotels, and rental cars. While searching through travel options, users can see which are the most sustainable.
The relative sustainability of a given option is presented as a percentage of the average. For example, a flight may be listed as “18% less CO2 emissions”. Car rentals will list the amount of carbon emissions for a given car class and what the typical emissions are so travelers can clearly see the difference. Hotels are provided a score and compared to the typical CO2 emissions for the location.
Etta users are even provided equivalencies that make the carbon impact of a specific option easier to understand. A more-sustainable-than-average flight, for example, may be listed as equivalent to a certain number of trees planted.
Prioritization of greener policies help, too
In addition to using a tool like EcoCheck, Dr. Sally Eaves suggested companies develop clear policies, procedures, and guidelines around sustainable travel and ensure that they are easily accessed by their business travelers. Employees may wonder, for example, if they are allowed to spend more money on a travel choice that leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
Confusion is created when travelers are confused about whether budgets or sustainability goals take precedence. Employees are empowered when they have clarity. When companies enable employees to use software like EcoCheck, develop policies that support sustainability, and communicate those policies effectively, they take a firm stand in favor of sustainable travel.
A commitment to greener policies can also foster loyalty among employees because their personal values are aligned with those of their workplace.
Every little bit helps
“We can all make a difference,” Dr. Eaves said. “We can all come together and really create a positive contagion of change.”
Alexa Buffum agrees. “By making a small change here or there…it actually can have a really big impact. That’s the big takeaway for employees and employers.”
Learn more from our EcoCheck eBook to discover how this feature can help you travel more sustainably.