If you search for it on the Internet, you will get a wealth of results with valuable information on how CO2 emissions can be reduced or avoided on business trips.
Above all, of course, avoiding travel is the first means of choice – do I have to travel in person or can I also achieve the desired purpose through virtual meetings?
The Corona crisis achieved a large area effect and showed us that it is very possible to largely avoid personal meetings through digitalization – however, this was not a conscious decision and not a process that we could get used to. Most of the people affected now want a return to “normality”, as they do not see virtual meetings as a full substitute for permanently interacting and collaborating with colleagues, suppliers, business partners, and customers. So we have to assume that with the return to normal, there will be improved awareness of travel avoidance and a significantly broader infrastructure for virtual collaboration – the business travel market will nonetheless remain a challenge when it comes to sustainability.
The next largest tool in the kit is of course the compensation of CO2 emissions – a convenient and relatively cheap form of reparation for the polluter, which certainly has a positive effect, but is not seen as a panacea by climate protectors. A big problem here is the time lag between the cause of climate damage and its actual compensation through afforestation or other measures – time that we may not have to achieve our climate goals.
In addition to avoidance and compensation, there are of course a number of other ways of reducing CO2 on a small scale by choosing a climate-neutral hotel, using public transport instead of a taxi, etc. The travel process itself, however, remains the biggest cause of CO2 at around 70% followed by accommodation including power supply in the hotel / at the meeting, and nutrition, … So it definitely makes sense to optimize the travel process itself as the biggest chunk.
What does the CONVIEN Way look like?
We differentiate between 2 types of business trips based on the purpose of the trip: I travel to meet other people (meeting/event trip) or to pursue a business activity in a certain location (individual journey):
Ecological optimization options for an individual trip:
a) Multimodal travel search – by comparing different transport options, the ecological footprint of a trip can be massively reduced.
b) Comparison of CO2 emissions at the provider level – CO2 emissions for the same route can be very different depending on the type of aircraft and airline.
c) Compensation for the remaining amounts of CO2.
Ecological optimization of meeting trips:
The organizer of the event bears a special responsibility here, as he specifies both the location and the period of the meeting – the majority of meetings and events require a certain infrastructure but are in principle not tied to a specific location or period.
Thus, the intelligent selection of the meeting place and time period results in a huge saving potential in CO2 emissions, since the essential parameters for the journey of the participants are defined here. According to our case studies, the CO2 footprint of an event can be reduced by an average of 30% without any negative impact on the travel quality of the participants – on the contrary: Optimizing the meeting location according to CO2 emissions during travel and overnight stays also improves the work-life balance of the participants, as the shortest possible travel routes and direct flights are usually offered as travel recommendations.
Avoid travel whenever possible and when it does not have a negative impact on the purpose of your enterprise.
Reduce your carbon footprint with intelligent tools such as the Meeting Place Finder including multimodal travel booking solutions and precise cross-provider comparison of the providers for your routes.
Compensate for the remaining residual amounts of CO2.