Can Business Travel Ever Be Eco-Friendly?
Being environmentally conscious is important for businesses because it has an impact on your public image and you have a responsibility to reduce your impact on the planet as much as possible.
This means making changes to your operations to save energy and changing manufacturing processes to use more eco-friendly materials. However, business travel is one area where companies struggle to reduce their impact.
Traveling and networking is an important part of running a business and it’s important that you get it right if you want your company to thrive. However, regular travel creates a lot of carbon emissions and it can undo a lot of the hard work you have been doing to increase sustainability. The good news is, you can find a middle ground if you make some changes to the way that you travel. These are the best ways to make business travel more eco-friendly.
Alternatives To Flying
Depending on how far you are traveling, there may be alternatives to flying that are much cheaper. Look into your options for buses or trains because, in most cases, you can find a route if you are not traveling too far. There are trains designed for business travel that are more direct and make fewer stops. Although the journey will take longer, it is a lot more eco-friendly and it’s also much easier because you don’t have to navigate the airport. In many cases, it will also save you money.
However, this won’t always be an option and sometimes, you will still need to fly. If this is the case, make sure that you look for direct flights rather than ones with changes. By limiting the number of flights you take, you can reduce your impact on the environment.
The heavier a plane is, the more fuel it uses, so think carefully about how much luggage you take. If you can get away with a small carry-on bag instead of a large suitcase, you can do your part to reduce the amount of fuel that is used. Although it is only a small difference, it adds up if you take a lot of business trips.
When you arrive at your destination and you have a lot of meetings set up, you should try to be as efficient as possible with your networking. If you spread your meetings out over the course of a week and you are traveling all over the city, that’s a lot of emissions created. But if you can schedule multiple meetings in a day and try to make them close to one another, you can limit your travel and cut emissions. Think about small details too, like your business cards. Using a recycled business card printing service is another simple way to reduce waste and make your trip more sustainable. Being more efficient with your networking will not only help to reduce emissions but it will also allow you to get more out of your trip.
Schedule Trips Back To Back
If you have multiple trips planned for the year, try to schedule them back to back, if possible. Although it can be quite tiring to move from city to city and do a lot of business trips in one go, the environmental benefits are great. You have more opportunity to move between places by train, so you can drastically cut back on the number of flights that you take. This may not always be possible, depending on your schedule, but you should try to group business trips together whenever you can.
Consider Video Conferencing Instead
If the last year has shown us anything, it’s that you don’t always need to meet in person to conduct business. Although there is something to be said for meeting and discussing things face to face, you should consider whether video conferencing could be a better alternative. Technology allows for easy conference calls to anywhere in the world, so if you are only in the initial stages of a relationship with a client, it may be a better, more sustainable option. In the future, you may still decide that you want to go and meet in person. However, using video conferencing can help you avoid taking multiple trips over an extended period, so you can cut back on the number of flights you take and manage your impact on the environment.
Business travel is a big problem for companies that want to be more sustainable. However, if you follow these tips, you can still benefit from business trips while also reducing your impact on the environment.