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Sustainable Business Travel – 10 Tips For More Eco-Friendly Business Trips

Sustainable Business Travel – 10 Tips For More Eco-Friendly Business Trips

Looking for the best tips for a sustainable business trip? Then you've come to the right place! In the business world, many business trips are extremely important for the personal exchange with partners and customers.

But operational travel causes with about 12 million tons of CO2 per year Unfortunately, also a significant emission of greenhouse gases, which can affect the climate change but can be avoided in most cases. Companies therefore also have a responsibility to act more sustainably in the area of mobility.

Fortunately, there are more and more ways to make business travel more environmentally friendly and minimize its impact on the planet.

In this article, I would like to introduce you to the best and most effective tips for sustainable business travel. Just integrate them little by little into your daily business life to make a real difference. Let's go!

Definition: What is actually meant by a sustainable business trip?

First of all, I would like to briefly clarify this essential question. A sustainable business trip is generally understood to be a business trip, which is carried out under consideration of ecological, social and economic aspects.

Their goal is to ecological footprint and minimize overall resource consumption, reduce the negative impact of travel on the environment and society at the respective destination - and nevertheless achieve the set goals of the own company. This works not least because many operating costs can be saved by deliberately avoiding business trips.

10 Tips: What can I do to make a business trip more sustainable?

Business meetings that take place digitally are the most sustainable

Now that we've learned the definition and benefits of sustainable business travel, we can look at Address how business trips can be implemented in a more climate-friendly and socially responsible manner.

Let the following tips inspire you to do so, and feel free to pass them on to your colleagues as well in order to positive change in your business drive forward.

1. Avoid business trips as much as possible

The most sustainable business trip is the one that doesn't happen at all. This may sound obvious, but often people are so stuck in their professional rut that they no longer directly recognize the potential savings and sustainable alternatives.

Digital video conferencing and sustainable online meetings make it possible, for example, to hold many business meetings without being physically present. Professional contacts can still be maintained in personal dialog (albeit on screen). This not only saves resources, but also time and costs.

In many cases, even simple Phone calls and mails save the potential resources used for traveling to and from the business partners' or customers' visit.

2. Consciously plan arrival and departure in a resource-saving way

Planning is half the battle - and has the potential to make any business trip natural resources to spare. The decision for the most fuel efficient route, the Avoidance of stopovers for air travel, the choice of a professional SaaS platform for business travel management to efficient emission reduction or the sensible Consolidation of business trips and business meetings in your team, for example, help.

Both on an individual and on an organizational level, adjustments can be made to combine business travel and sustainability in a targeted manner. Ultimately, it is a matter of minimize the number of journeys and business trips as far as possible or to make them as efficient as possible..

3. Use public transport and bicycle instead of car and plane

Public transport and cycling - also for business trips

Every meter you by self-propulsion or together with as many other people as possible makes your business travel more sustainable. Traveling by bicycle (if the distance to customers and business partners allows it) and switching to public transportation (such as trains, buses, streetcars and subways) have an enormous impact in this regard - especially compared to airplanes or cars. CO2 savings potential.

Quite incidentally makes especially the Physical activity your Everyday work even healthier. Last but not least, the trips by bike and public transport will help you to reduce your stress level.

4. Make car trips and flights as sustainable as possible

You have tried everything, but one particular Business trip can neither be avoided, nor can it be done in an environmentally friendly way by bicycle, public transport or train? Then you can at least use the following tips and tricks to ensure that you master your car journeys and flights as sustainably as possible.

Tips for more sustainable business travel

  • Form car pools with colleagues
  • Prefer the journey by electric car (charged with green electricity)
  • Use carpooling and car sharing on site
  • Ensure ideal tire pressure and avoid unnecessary weight in the car
  • Rely on technological tools (e.g., Google Maps to avoid traffic jams).

In my article about sustainable driving you will find many more tips.

Tips for more sustainable service flights

  • Only fly with airlines that actively pursue sustainability initiatives
  • Maintain appropriate relationship between travel distance and travel duration
  • Select direct flights (i.e. flights without stopovers)
  • Complete several partner and customer appointments directly at the destination

Again, in the linked blog article you will find more Tips for flying as environmentally friendly as possible.

5. Offset CO2 emissions for unavoidable emissions.

CO2 compensation makes business trip more environmentally friendly

A very decisive tip for at least some more sustainable (unavoidable) flights and business trips in general, I have given you deliberately withheld yet: financially compensate the CO2 emissions of your trip if you use your annual climate budget exceeds.

This works for example via donations or investments in climate protection projectswhich have the effect of reducing CO2 pollution in the earth's atmosphere elsewhere. Of course, it is better not to emit the climate-damaging greenhouse gases in the first place - but if traveling on duty cannot be avoided, the CO2 compensation of flights and car journeys is a sensible means of making them as sustainable as possible after all.

6. Avoid paper and plastic waste on the road

Every piece of trash you avoid, Conserves natural resources and saves energy for new production, disposal and recycling. So make a conscious effort to do so on business trips, produce as little waste as possible.

This works, for example, by getting reusable water bottles (click here for the best drinking bottles list), which you can refill at public water taps. Reusable alternatives such as stainless steel lunch boxes, oilcloths and washable wooden travel cutlery, are replacing the single-use plastic waste that symbolizes our Disposable society stands.

Also digital documents like e-tickets instead of paper tickets reduce the amount of waste you generate when traveling on duty. With the help of these measures, simply try to be more conscious and appreciative of our planet's natural resources.

Here are matching still some further articles from the blog that will help you with this:

7. Book a sustainable accommodation

Green accommodation is a good basis for climate-friendly business travel

Fortunately, there are more and more hotels and accommodations with environmentally friendly and socially responsible concepts, which the sustainable travel even much easier.

For example, they rely on the Renewable energy production, Rainwater treatment, conscious Waste prevention, regional, seasonal, organic and vegetable dishes, as well as a good Connection to local and long-distance public transport.

8. Support local economy and people

Whether in hotel operations, transfers or restaurants. - Many people are dependent on tourism. And even if your business trip only lasts a few days and you are mostly there on business, you usually use tourist services.

By doing for example locally produced food the international restaurant chains, small bookstores the Internet order and the public transport the cab or "Uber", you can save CO2, avoid the consequences of the Mass tourism counteract and have a positive sustainable impact on the ground.

9. Act environmentally friendly even at the destination

Regardless of how you got to and from your business trip, your eco-consciousness is also important. Attitude should not end where you are stranger. At the place of the customer visit or the meeting with business partners, you should of course continue to behave in an environmentally friendly manner.

Here are some tips for environmental protection in everyday life that you can implement during your sustainable business trip can:

  • Only buy the things you really need (see minimalist living)
  • Turn off air conditioner and lights when you are not in the room
  • Avoid waste as much as possible (see Zero Waste Lifestyle)
  • Organic, regional, seasonal and vegan diet (see vegan life)
  • Use towels and bed linen several times
  • Use public transport

Tip: A lot of further, helpful advice and ideas for a more sustainable lifestyle I have compiled for you in the linked article.

10. Raise awareness among colleagues and make sustainable business travel easier

Raise awareness among colleagues about environmentally friendly travel to business meetings

In the course of the weeks and months that you deal with the subject matter, you will step by step become the Professional for "sustainable business travel. In order to achieve an even greater impact for the environment and society, and to Climate protection throughout the company you should now share your findings with your colleagues (and also with your business partners).

Sensitize them for the benefits of environmentally friendly business travel, inform them about the options available to everyone, set a frameto which they can orientate themselves - and give them Incentives for doing it.

Organize for example Workshops and trainings, lead Sustainability guidelines and goals for official excursions and facilitate the implementation of the measures through free reusable drinking bottles with the company logo or Subsidies for train tickets. The important thing is that a WE feeling is created so that everyone acts together in an increasingly sustainable manner.

Making a real difference with sustainable business travel

As you can see, there are many ways to organize your business trips in the future so that you don't have to feel guilty about - and admittedly lasting shame must have. Just try to implement the above tips one by one to continuously reduce the carbon footprint of your business trips and travels.

You have to really want it, though. Indeed, when planning an environmentally friendly business trip, sustainability goals must clearly take precedence over habits, prestige (e.g., fancy company car or business-class domestic flight) and comfort (e.g., air-conditioned corporate jet).

"Paths are made by walking them."

Erich Kästner (more under Mobility Quotes)

So always be aware of why environmentally friendly business travel is worthwhile. Also, to master your project especially in the possibly challenging moments at the beginning of the change. But don't forget that sustainable action is not a sprint, but a marathon, where every little step counts and missteps are allowed.

Do you have any questions, suggestions or further tips for sustainable business travel? Then I look forward to your comments and your personal experiences.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: It's not only professional travel over longer distances that can be mastered sustainably. How you can improve your daily commute as environmentally friendly as possible I'm going to explain how to do that in the linked blog post.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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