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What Does Sustainable Corporate Travel Look Like? 


What Does Sustainable Corporate Travel Look Like? 

Amid the rising glory of sustainable travel, most people need a clear idea of what sustainable travel is exactly. Some consider the sustainable way of travelling to include less or no use of plastics. Some may think of sustainability as a step to minimize the wastage of resources. Nearly all of us fail to notice that sustainability in travelling practice encompasses every important aspect of travelling and our lives.  

So, what is sustainable travel? Let’s grab a clear idea of sustainability in travelling norms here. We are simplifying the process of deciding our role as a sustainable traveller or travel management company.  

Getting To Know Sustainable Travel

As defined by the UN World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism or travel incorporates more than just environmental aspects. Integrating sustainability in tourism includes taking measures to address present and future economic, social and environmental conditions and the visitors’ needs. The measures in sustainable tourism or travel should be strategic enough to improve the condition of the tourism industry and environment.

We should consider sustainability when travelling. This comprehensive approach will bring ease to both travellers and local communities, without wasting natural resources. Further, sustainability, when travelling for pleasure, may look different compared to sustainability when travelling for business. So, your context of travelling determines how you can integrate sustainability.

Sustainable Travel in Corporate Settings 

Sustainability for corporate travel and travelling for pleasure is similar in many aspects. Whether travelling for business or a family holiday, you can reduce air pollution by not using cars as frequently. But corporate trips include conferences and training which you can’t miss. Travelling for sole pleasure may include activities you can modify or avoid bringing sustainability based on convenience.


Integrating sustainability into corporate travel can be challenging. It is difficult to instruct a group of grownups to follow eco-friendly techniques all at once. Most companies lack a basic sustainable travel policy. This can be the start of a headache when trying to include sustainability in corporate trips.

So, to bring sustainability to travel in corporate settings, you must include all the key participants. The employer or business organization needs a strong policy for sustainable travelling. With a policy dictating travel practices, employees can be encouraged to follow eco-friendly practices during their corporate trips.


Sustainable Travel Examples in Corporate Settings 

You can get plenty of sustainability travel examples in hotels and other places or organizations that get frequent corporate travellers annually. 

  • Use of solar powers  
  • Programs for storing rainwater  
  • Reduced use of plastic packaging and bottles  
  • Participation in initiatives to bring financial development for local communities in travel destinations  
  • Collaboration with NGOs helping women to earn a livelihood  

 Pros of Sustainable Business Travel 

Sustainable corporate travel brings a lot of benefits. And when a company executes sustainable corporate travel practices, they earn a good name in the industry. Thus, they have more reach and therefore gain more leverage in developing market demand. Moreover, a business can use its sustainable trip practices as a marketing focus to attract shareholders, partners and even candidates.

Importantly, by having sustainability, you bring financial stability. With travel arrangements giving minimal carbon emissions, you not only reduce pollution but also save money. Sustainable travel practices also help in improving the living conditions of local communities and thus offer social sustainability.

Moreover, there are certain benefits in having corporate sustainable travel practices, which reveal with time. With Gen Z now comprising a major workplace section, employers must pay attention to company policies. Deloitte’s report emphasizes that employers can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and, in turn, gain Gen Z’s respect. Sustainable practices in business operations and corporate travel enable businesses to better engage Gen Z in the workplace.

Cons of Sustainable Business Travel

As a concept, sustainability is nothing short of a flawless one. But, for implementing sustainable practices during corporate travel, you need time and initial expenses.

Plus, to gain certificates and tools for promoting sustainability, people must invest time and money. But these issues are for the travel management companies aiming to develop sustainable operations.

Employers trying to bring sustainable corporate trips may face delays in training employees to get adapted to sustainable tour practices. Sustainable travelling is essential. The short-term delays or hardships do not outweigh the long-term risks of unsustainable travel practices.

However, sustainability can bring a cost issue. To reduce fuel emissions, options like electric vehicles can be costly for corporate travellers or employers sponsoring the business trip.


Is Sustainability in Business Traveling a New Hype or Just a Fad? 

The terms “green tourism”, “sustainability”, and “eco-friendly” are widely used. This suggests that sustainable trends are prevalent. But, yes, people consider more the impact of their travelling on the environment.

The graph below shows that travellers should pay more attention to the environment. This is supported by a survey that found an increase in emissions.

Hotels, restaurants, and car companies are eager to gain a sustainability tag. This shows that sustainability is here to stay as a means for improving business performance.  

The hype surrounding sustainability has motivated many organizations to use solar power and encourage more women to earn from stable jobs. Corporate travellers now prefer those organizations, and hopefully, their preference would help bring down environmental damage and social issues.

Is Sustainable Business Travelling Doing Any Real Good?

Sustainable travel in a corporate setting can be a real game changer. Even with many companies following sustainability minimally or exhibiting greenwashing, sustainable practices have created awareness. 36% of employees have increased eco-friendly commitments during corporate travel, with 20% considering sustainability.

Further, 49% of businesses are starting to focus on social and environmental sustainability post-COVID-19. Notably, you can find organizations with serious and active roles in executing sustainability. As pointed out by a report in 2021, 44% of survey participants agreed their companies have sustainability in business practices.

How to Make Travel Sustainable as a Tourist During Corporate Trips?

A New York Times article highlighted the importance of sustainable travel. To do this, it suggested focusing on the destination, mode of transport, and luggage.

But the hype surrounding sustainability may make you think sustainability is not as simple as packing your travel bags smartly. Yes, sustainability can be simple and smart, which you can implement easily during your corporate trips to bring sustainability. Before you go “duh” thinking we are absurd, explore the following ways.

Leaving No Impact Wherever You Travel 

Skincare and cosmetics are among the biggest contributors to damaging impacts on your travel destination. These items contain ingredients that can damage aquatic life. You often leave behind empty packages and bottles at your travel destination when you have finished using them during corporate trips.

The trace amount of harmful chemicals left in the bottles when they get into water channels causes pollution. Also, the product packaging clutters the channel. So, make wise purchasing decisions as a responsible citizen and traveller. Opt for products with natural ingredients and eco-friendly packaging.

Don’t Carry Extra 

Travellers tend to pack extra items like plastic bags or toiletries in their luggage. During your corporate trips, you start to develop a heavy dislike towards your heavy luggage. Then, you do things every normal human being would have done in your position. You throw away the extra items like extra plastic containers or bags, thus burdening your travel destination with unwanted pollution.

Therefore, pack fewer and only necessary items so you don’t need to dump your burden at your travel destination.

Yes, You Can Continue Your Travel without Plastic 

Plastic is indeed convenient for the packaging of many items. To avoid using plastics during corporate trips, you can carry cloth bags while shopping. With a cloth bag, you don’t have to get plastic bags for carrying purchased items while shopping. They are also re-usable.

You can continue with a similar plastic avoiding approach during your trip. Pack your skincare, cosmetics and toiletries using paper bags inside your luggage.

An Active Role in Carbon Offsetting 

Corporate travellers can play a key role in reducing carbon emissions. With the global transport sector contributing 25% to total CO2 emissions, you should attempt to bring down transport use wherever necessary. Instead of travelling with separate cars to a conference or training destination, you can opt for travelling together. Also, you can choose not to take cars or other vehicles to reach places within walking distance.

Eating Choices and Arrangements

Opt for eating in a place which uses biodegradable plates and spoons. You can also carry steel straws.

Carrying paper containers moreover helps you to carry excess food. With paper bags, you can carry extra food and eat it at your convenience. Thus, you don’t waste food and don’t increase the plastic load by buying plastic packets or boxes.

Further, food options go a long way in deciding your impact on global sustainability and local food sourcing. Experts recommend eating vegetarian foods while travelling to encourage local food supply. Notably, the sourcing and processing of dairy and meat products contribute to approximately 14.5% of greenhouse gases annually.

Meat lovers may find it difficult to go without meat during a corporate trip. Fortunately, they can opt for sustainably sourced meat, chicken, or local seafood.

Encourage Local and Small Businesses

Encouraging local businesses improves the economic conditions of the communities present in the business destination. You can choose to stay in a hotel developed by a local family rather than a business tycoon. And you can eat food from local outlets rather than some restaurants set up by global companies.

You will be amazed at how local and small businesses maintain flawless hygiene and impeccable food standards. With smart eating choices, you surely have the answer for how to make travel more sustainable.

Buy Souvenirs from Local Communities 

We wish to bring gifts for our loved ones from places we travel to. And most often, people fall into the marketing hype and buy gifts from the best-promoted businesses. But, buying from posh-looking stores deprives local communities who make and sell crafts, foods and many more items. Thus, travellers, with their unwise buying decisions, fail to bring economic sustainability.

So, try buying from local stores next time you go somewhere for business.

Opt For a Travel Management Company Following a Sustainable Travel Policy

Not all corporate travel management companies execute plans using a sustainable business travel policy. Irrespective of your following sustainable tips while travelling, choosing a company not following sustainable techniques disrupts your attempt at being sustainable.

As an employer or team organizing a corporate travel program, you must seek assistance from sustainable travel companies. These companies will help you travel sustainably from the beginning of your trip. Sustainable TMC’s execute travel planning using a sustainable business travel policy. So, with these companies, you take travelling options which positively impact the global supply of resources.

Moreover, they help you to remove the need to carry paper documents for flight tickets and arrangements for staying and eating. They guide you to use apps and updates that help you to go paperless.

How Can You Bring Sustainability to Business Travel as a Travel Management Company?

As a corporate travel management company, you can bring sustainability in many ways. Before exploring how to integrate sustainable practices into corporate trips, you must first identify the areas where sustainability can be included.


First, let’s start with your team. Bringing gender equality and inclusive culture is a great way to impart sustainability inside your company.

Besides, bring focus on services you use for managing corporate trips for your clients. Accommodation is a great way to bring a sustainable approach. Opt for hotel bookings for your corporate clients in hotels which use less plastic and more environmentally friendly materials.

Vehicles contribute to the most harmful emissions. Encourage corporate travelling clients to have walking tours of business destinations instead.

This is a simple way to reduce their environmental impact. Arrange incentives for corporate travellers who take the most walking trips. Examples include loyalty points and discounts. Thus, with innovative thinking and smart strategizing, you can have sustainable business operations and encourage your corporate clients to travel sustainably.

Prioritize What Your Corporate Clients Prioritize as Sustainability  

Travellers are considering the environmental impact of their trips. Issues such as waste generation, over tourism, wildlife threats, and CO2 emissions are important to consider. The graph above shows some of these issues.

You have many ways to make corporate trips sustainable. Check the following ways to address the aspects your clients emphasize.

  • For controlling over tourism
  • Providing knowledge resources to corporate travellers
  • Encouraging to visit places less over-crowded
  • For controlling CO2 emissions
  • Guiding your clients to use electric vehicles, opt for sharing cars or walking to nearby locations during corporate trips.
  • For addressing threats to wildlife and natural habitats
  • Encouraging corporate travellers for waste conservation with alerts and app-based planning
  • To prevent excess waste generation
  • Tips and tools for smart shopping for corporate travellers during trips
  • Guiding clients to stay and eat at places having sustainability practices

And Here’s How We Bring Sustainability in Business Travel

As a travel management company specializing in corporate travel, we emphasize having sustainability as one of our prime focuses. Our team members take active initiatives in going paperless wherever and whenever possible. That cuts down on the unnecessary use of paper.

Plus, we are aware of how corporate travellers every time they take a flight or car contribute to global carbon emissions. We prioritize carbon offsetting. We have certified partners in our network to provide guidance for managing our clients’ corporate trips. This guidance is actionable.

Notably, we help our clients who are corporate travellers to make choices that bring economic and financial sustainability to local communities. To know more about sustainable corporate travel, get in touch with us.

Final Thoughts 

What is sustainable travel? Sustainable travel incorporates taking measures to improve economic, social and environmental conditions. Any sustainable approach in corporate travel settings is more of a comprehensive strategy rather than aiming to reduce plastic use.

If you want to make your corporate trip more sustainable, you can focus on local sources of food, accommodation, and souvenirs. Explore how to do this and make your travels more sustainable. As a corporate traveller, you are responsible for positively impacting the business destination’s social, environmental and financial condition.

We are a management company that specializes in corporate travel. We strive to make responsible travel options available to our clients. To that end, we include carbon offsetting in our services. Also, you can focus on the factors of corporate clients to help make their business travel sustainable.

If you need some help with booking your next business trip, you can contact The Travel Group